Iran’s oil exports have risen slightly in January and February, defying expectation of a further fall amid US sanctions.

Tehran shipped 1.25 million barrels per day in February and between 1.1 and 1.3 million bpd in January, according to industry data and a source at a company tracking Iranian exports.

Analysts said some Iranian customers are taking advantage of US sanctions waivers before they expire in May.

The Trump Administration imposed comprehensive sanctions on November 5, but granted six-month waivers for eight countries, including Tehran’s largest buyers China, India, South Korea, and Japan.

Iranian sales dipped below 1 million bpd in Demcember. Exports are still 50% below the April 2018 level of 2.5 million bpd.

Earlier this month, Oil Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh cautioned that, while Asian customers maintaining imports, Tehran is limited elsewhere.

No European country is buying oil from Iran except Turkey. Greece and Italy have been granted exemptions by America, but they don’t buy Iranian oil and they don’t answer our questions.

Iran had hoped to open up the European market with a non-dollar arrangement for trade, but regime officials have rejected the European Commission’s launch of a Special Purpose Vehicle because of its “humiliating conditions”.

Iran Daily, Feb 17: Tehran Again Defies Europe and Economic Problems

The decline has contributed to an Iranian Parliamentary projection of a GDP fall between 2.6% and 4.2% for the Iranian year ending March 20.

The lower exports have a significant effect on the Government budget, which draws on oil income for much of its revenue, and for the National Development, which is reportedly at risk from declining funds and diversions to the military.

Iran Daily, Feb 11: National Development Fund May Soon Be Exhausted — Parliament Report