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Iranian Oil Exports Fall by 250,000 Barrels in February

Iranian Oil Exports Fall by 250,000 Barrels in February

Wednesday, 24 February, 2021 - 10:30
FILE PHOTO: An oil pump jack pumps oil in a field near Calgary, Alberta, Canada on July 21, 2014. REUTERS/Todd Korol/File Photo

Iranian crude oil exports have fallen in February by about 250,000 barrels per day, tanker tracker Petro-Logistics said Tuesday, suggesting a jump in shipments has run out of steam.

The OPEC member’s oil exports climbed in January after a boost in the Q4 of 2020, despite US sanctions, in a sign that the end of Donald Trump’s term as US President may be changing buyer behavior.

However, the Geneva-based Petro-Logistics, which assesses the exports by tracking tanker shipments, told Reuters that shipments had fallen to levels seen in November and December, “before the surge in January.”

On Jan. 26, it said Iranian exports were set to exceed 600,000 bpd in January for the first time since April 2019, after rising by 100,000 bpd in the fourth quarter. The company did not give an updated figure for January shipments on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, oil prices jumped by more than one dollar on Tuesday, as US output was slow to return after a deep freeze in Texas shut in crude production last week.

Brent crude was up $1.06, or 1.6 percent, at $65.30 a barrel after earlier hitting a high of $66.38.

US crude rose 81 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $62.51 a barrel, after hitting a session high of $62.73.

Both benchmarks have risen more than one percent after climbing nearly four percent in the previous session.

Goldman Sachs Commodities Research raised its Brent crude oil price forecasts by $10 for the second and third quarters of 2021, citing lower expected inventories, higher marginal costs to restart upstream activity and speculative inflows.

The Wall Street bank expects Brent prices to reach $70 per barrel in the second quarter from the $60 it predicted previously and $75 in the third quarter from $65 earlier.

Morgan Stanley expects Brent crude prices to climb to $70 per barrel in the third quarter on “signs of a much improved market” including prospects of a pick-up in demand.

The bank also raised its outlook for Brent prices in the second quarter to $65 per barrel from $55, and hiked its fourth-quarter forecast to $65 from $60.

“The stars have aligned for the oil market even faster than expected,” the bank said in a note on Monday.

Morgan Stanley said that the “new COVID-19 cases are falling fast globally, mobility statistics are bottoming out and are starting to improve, and in non-OECD countries, refineries are already running as hard as before COVID-19.”

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