Iran’s official oil exports have sunk more than 90% to 160,000 barrels per day, according to a leading data intelligence firm.
Kpler told Radio Farda that the exports had dropped further from 365,000 in July.
In April 2018, Iran shipped more than 2.5 million bpd. At the beginning of May, before the US ended sanctions waivers on its largest customers such as China and India, Tehran moved about 1 million bpd.
The Trump Administration, which imposed comprehensive sanctions last November after withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear agreement, is hoping to eliminate all Iranian exports.
Kpler said Iran exported 22,000 bpd to Turkey, 33,000 to Syria, and 105,000 to China during August.
Data from Chinese customs reported purchase of 233,000 bpd from Iran between May and July.
Relying on “Unofficial” Sales and Oil Products
However, Iran is also likely to be shipping oil on grey or black markets, with tankers turning off GPS transponders. Some analysts estimate the off-the-books exports could be as high as 400,000 bpd.
The Iranian supertanker Adrian Darya 1, detained in Gibraltar from early July through mid-August, is reportedly still circling in the Mediterranean with 2.1 million barrels of oil.
The supertanker, then flagged as the Grace 1, was seized for allegedly trying to break European Union sanctions on oil shipments to Syria’s Assad regime. Western countries suspect the vessel is still trying to reach the Syrian port of Baniyas, despite assurances to Gibraltar by Iranian authorities that it would not do so.
Two other Iranian tankers are reportedly near the Syrian coast.
Iran’s troubled economy is also being propped up by sales of oil products of about $500 million a month, according to shipping data.
The products including fuel oil used for power generation and shipping, and liquefied petroleum gas for cooking gas and petrochemical feed.
Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh insisted on August 27, “In exports of products we have no problem.”
Iran exported more than 230,000 bpd of fuel oil in August, all to the UAE, according to one tracker. Those sales are worth more than $300 million a month.
Kpler said Iran exported 514,000 tons of LPG in July, almost 200,000 bpd, worth more than $180 million at market prices.
China is accounted for more than 95% of Iranian LPG exports in June, in part because US supplies have been restricted by Donald Trump’s trade war with Beijing.