Oil Report

Asia's August Iran oil imports jump 81 pct from a year ago

* Asian Aug imports at 1.84 mln bpd, more than 5-1/2 year
    * India imports nearly triple to at least 15-year high
    * South Korea imports double; China, Japan imports also rise

    By Osamu Tsukimori
    TOKYO, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Imports of Iranian oil by four
major buyers in Asia in August jumped 81 percent from a year
earlier, the biggest percentage gain since April 2014, as the
producer recoups market share from rivals Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
    Economic sanctions targeting Iran's disputed nuclear
programme were lifted in January, and it has been battling since
then to regain market share lost during the previous four years
that the sanctions were in force. 
    The No. 3 OPEC producer has increased its crude oil exports
last month to more than 2 million barrels per day (bpd),
according to a source with knowledge of its tanker loading
schedule, closing in on Tehran's pre-sanctions shipment levels
of five years ago. 
    The top four Asian buyers, South Korea, Japan, China and
India, imported 1.84 million barrels per day (bpd) in August,
government and ship-tracking data showed. That would be the
highest in at least five-and-a-half years.
    Japan's trade ministry on Friday released official data
showing its imports rose 31.4 percent from a year earlier to
235,612 bpd last month.
    India's imports nearly tripled from a year earlier to
575,900 bpd, the highest in at least 15 years. 
    Imports by South Korea more than doubled, while Chinese
imports also jumped 48 percent.
    The following tables show Asia's Iran crude imports in bpd
for last month and the year to date.

  Nation      Aug-16      Aug-15    yr/yr pct
   China    746,029     503,110          48.4
   India    575,900     198,800         189.6
   Japan    235,612     179,243          31.4
   Korea    277,613     130,774         112.3
   Total  1,835,154   1,011,927          81.4
  Nation  Jan-Aug 2016  Jan-Aug 2015   yr/yr pct
   China      614,703       576,670          6.6
   India      394,700       214,100         84.3
   Japan      216,101       171,814         25.8
   Korea      269,803       114,103        136.5
   Total    1,495,307     1,076,687         38.9

 (Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Christian