Italy sees Iran oil imports up in March
Milan, May 18, 2012
Italy raised crude oil imports from Iran by about 6 per cent in March from February ahead of the planned new sanctions against Tehran, while total crude import fell amid weak demand for refined oil products, said a report.
Italy, which relies on Iran to cover 10.4 percent of its crude oil import needs, raised oil purchases from the Islamic Republic to 425,200 tonnes in March from 401,600 tonnes in February, according to oil industry body Unione Petrolifera (UP).
At 1.69 million tonnes in the first quarter of 2012, Italy's crude imports from Iran were above the 1.44 million tonnes imported in the January-March period of 2011, the UP data showed.
According to UP, this represents major Italian and foreign refiners and oil product distributors working in Italy.
The European Union decided in January to stop all Iranian oil imports as of July, part of a range of tough new sanctions aimed at forcing Tehran to curb the atomic work that the West suspects is part of a nuclear weapons programme.
Tehran has said sanctions should be eased if the international community wants progress in nuclear talks.
Imports from Libya, which has regained its No.1 supplier status lost during the civil war there last year, jumped nearly 80 per cent month-on-month to 1.29 million tonnes.-Reuters