Turkey boosts oil imports from Iran
Turkey's oil imports from Iran rose sharply in March despite the western sanctions against Iranian crude supplies.
According to official trade data on the Turkish Statistical Institute, Turkey imported 1.174 million tonnes about 270,000 barrels per day of Iranian crude oil in March.
A Turkish industry official said that April imports fell back to a more normal 140,000 barrels per day and would remain at about the same level in May. The March figures represent the highest monthly purchase of Iranian crude by Turkey since July 2011 and are almost triple the 401,349 tonnes, 100,000 barrels per day imported in February. The imports also reflect a 90 percent jump from March 2011.
Mr Taner Yildiz energy minister of Turkey said at the end of March that the country would diversify its oil supplies. But quarterly trade figures highlight Iran's strong dominance in Turkey's crude imports.
The data shows Iran accounted for 2.44 million tonnes, 193,000 barrels per day or more than half of the 4.416 million tonnes or 350,000 barrels per day of crude Turkey imported in the first 3 months of this year. Its second biggest supplier, Iraq, trailed far behind with 568,326 tonnes, 45,000 barrels per day in the same period. Last year, Iran provided more than half of Turkey's total crude oil imports at just over 18 million tonnes.
Trade between Turkey and Iran has risen sharply over the past decade, leading to Turkey being regarded as a possible weak link in the international sanctions against Iran. Washington has threatened to impose sanctions on companies from countries that do not back its efforts to isolate Iran.
Source - Agencies