* July oil imports from Iran at 210,300 bpd vs 167,300 bpd
* Jan-July imports from Iran at 270,600 bpd, up 45.8 pct
* Imports from LatAm, Africa up last 7 mths; Middle East
By Nidhi Verma
NEW DELHI, Aug 8 India took about 46 percent
more oil from Iran in January-July compared with a year ago as
its refiners continued to lift higher volumes while world powers
and Tehran work to resolve a decade-old dispute over the OPEC
nation's nuclear programme.
Six major powers and Iran failed to meet a July 20 deadline
to negotiate a final agreement under which Iran would curb its
nuclear activities in exchange for an end to economic sanctions
that have crippled its economy.
An interim deal that eases some sanctions while negotiations
continue has been extended by four months. Senior U.S. and
Iranian officials held "constructive" nuclear talks in Geneva on
Thursday, and the major powers and Iran will meet again in
advance of this September's U.N. gathering.
India and China both boosted imports from Iran after the
initial interim deal was agreed in November. Iran's two other
main clients, Japan and South Korea, have continued to reduce
their volumes overall.
India, Tehran's top client after China, received about
210,300 barrels per day (bpd) of Iranian oil last month, nearly
six times the volume as in July a year ago, data on tanker
arrivals from trade sources shows.
Last year, though, Indian refiners drastically cut their
imports from Tehran starting from April due to a lack of
insurance for units processing Iranian oil. The intake from Iran
in July 2013 at 35,500 bpd was the lowest since at least 2010.
Over the first seven months of the year, India's intake from
Iran has averaged about 270,600 bpd, up from 185,700 bpd in the
same period last year.
In July, imports from Iran rose by about 26 percent from the
State-run Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemical Ltd
was the biggest buyer of Iranian oil in July followed by Essar
Oil Ltd, the data showed. MRPL and Essar are India's
only two regular monthly importers of Iranian crude.
Iran's share of total Indian oil imports rose to 7 percent
in the first seven months of this year compared with 4.8 percent
last year, the tanker arrival data also showed.
January-July this year India's import of oil from Latin
America rose by 1 percent, while that from Africa increased by
about 10.5 percent, the data showed.
Purchases from the Middle East declined by 6.2 percent over
the period, the data showed.
Overall, India shipped in 2.5 percent less crude in July
than a year ago, the data showed. Total crude imports for the
January-July period fell 1.2 percent.
Iran's oil exports slipped for a second month in July to
about 1.14 million bpd, still slightly above the limit set by
the West under the interim deal aimed at curbing Iran's nuclear
programme, according to sources who track tanker shipments.
(Editing by Tom Hogue)