A Bad Time to Lose Iran

Or least Iranian oil.

Reports surfaced this week that sanctions are decimating Iranian crude exports. India’s imports from the pariah nation appear to have fallen 60% in June, year-on-year. Iran’s top four customers–China, Japan, India and South Korea–probably dropped their imports by a third.

The loss of this supply is going to make things interesting for global oil trade.

That’s because the disruption comes just as the differential between European Brent crude and American West Texas Intermediate has collapsed. Brent had been trading at premiums of up to $23 above WTI, as recently as February. But this week the two crudes hit parity for the first time in three years.

The result is Brent is suddenly a lot more attractive for refiners in the U.S. Gulf Coast. Those users will undoubtedly be eying increased imports of oil over domestic supply.

But they’ll be competing with the rest of the world–and especially Asia–as it scrambles to find supply outside Iran.

A good time to look at plays linked to non-WTI oil prices.

Here’s to the world of oil,

Dave Forest

dforest@piercepoints.com / @piercepoints / Facebook

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