BAGHDAD: Iraqi flows to the U.S. last year averaged just under 600,000 bpd, up a third from 2016’s volume. While January deliveries were robust, clambering above 700,000 bpd, they were even more impressive to Asia, rising to a record.
Loadings from southern Iraq are the driving force behind the record. Exports from the Kurdish region of northern Iraq still remain in check amid conflict in the area (hark, averaging under 300,000 bpd for the last three months). Also, flows from northern Iraq only head to Europe and the eastern Mediterranean. Between the two, imports reached over two million barrels per day last month, with India climbing to the highest on our records at 1.2mn bpd, over 50 percent above last year’s average. China was no slouch either, importing a quarter more crude in January than last year’s average.Deliveries averaged about 440,000 bpd last year – heading to more countries in Europe than Asia. January is seasonally a strong month for deliveries into Europe from southern Iraq, and this month is no different, with 540,000 bpd discharged there last month. Although flows dropped to the Netherlands, France received its first crude in eight months, with deliveries of Basrah Heavy to both Lavera’s teminal in Fos sur Mer and CIM’s Le Havre terminal.