December 11, 2018 / 1:56 AM / 4 months ago

Iran keeps crude prices in Asia at wide discounts against Saudi oil in January

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Iran has set the official selling price (OSP) of its Iranian Light grade for its Asian buyers at 30 cents above the Platts Oman/Dubai average for January, $1 lower than the previous month, a price document reviewed by Reuters showed on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: Gas flares from an oil production platform at the Soroush oilfields in the Persian Gulf, south of the Iranian capital Tehran, July 25, 2005. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi/File Photo

The producer has also cut prices for the other three crude grades it sells to Asia.

The price cuts were in line with Saudi crude price adjustments for January, keeping Iranian oil prices at the largest discounts in more than a decade against Saudi grades for a third consecutive month since November when U.S. sanctions on Iran started.

The January price for Iranian Light crude remained about 30 cents a barrel cheaper than Saudi Arab Light oil while Iranian Heavy is around $1.25 a barrel lower than Saudi’s Arab Medium grade, according to Reuters calculations.

Iran’s Forozan crude is about $1.10 a barrel below that of Arab Medium.

The calculations do not reflect the difference in benchmarks used by Saudi Arabia and Iran.

China’s Iranian oil imports are set to rebound in December after two state-owned refiners in the world’s largest oil importer began using the nation’s waiver from U.S. sanctions on Iran while Japanese and South Korean buyers are preparing to resume loadings in January.

India’s Hindustan Petroleum Corp, will buy Iranian crude in January after a gap of six months. Together with Indian Oil Corp and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd, the companies will lift a total 9 million barrels in January.

Taiwan’s Formosa Petrochemical has said it will not buy Iranian oil despite being able to benefit from a U.S. sanctions waiver because of the lack of a payment mechanism.

ASIA (PRICES AGAINST OMAN/DUBAI AVERAGE)

GRADE JAN DEC CHANGE

IRANIAN LIGHT 0.30 1.30 -1.00

IRANIAN HEAVY -1.30 -0.55 -0.75

FOROZAN -1.15 -0.40 -0.75

SOROUSH -7.40 -5.50 -1.90

NW EUROPE (PRICES AGAINST BRENT WAVE)

GRADE JAN DEC CHANGE

IRANIAN LIGHT -4.20 -4.70 0.50

IRANIAN HEAVY -6.80 -7.45 0.65

FOROZAN -6.65 -7.30 0.65

MEDITERRANEAN (PRICES AGAINST BRENT WAVE)

GRADE JAN DEC CHANGE

IRANIAN LIGHT -4.80 -5.20 0.40

IRANIAN HEAVY -7.30 -8.00 0.70

FOROZAN -7.15 -7.85 0.70

SOROUSH -10.60 -11.05 0.45

Reporting by Florence Tan; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri

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