The Trump administration has cut down Iran’s oil exports more quickly than many expected, but just days before a White House deadline, it is still a long way from achieving its stated goal of zeroing out Iranian oil sales.
Iran’s oil exports have fallen by about a third in the five months through September. They tumbled by about 800,000 barrels per day since President Donald Trump announced in May that he was abandoning a nuclear accord with Iran and restoring wide-ranging sanctions on its economy.
Still, Iran was selling roughly 1.7 million to 1.9 million bpd of crude oil and condensate, a super light form of oil, in September, according to estimates by investment banks, tanker-tracking firms and the International Energy Agency.
That’s down from a 2018 peak of 2.7 million bpd in June, according to ClipperData. In the first six months of the year, Iran was averaging 2.4 million bpd in shipments, S&P Global Platts Analytics estimates.
Some of Iran’s biggest customers, including China and India, are expected to keep buying its barrels. The Trump administration has also indicated it will allow some countries to continue importing limited quantities of Iranian oil, but officials haven’t disclosed which nations will receive waivers.