Reportedly, a significant increase in trade could be seen following the lifting of US sanctions in January 2016, with a seasonal pattern in ton-mile exports post January 2016, with total volumes rising in the autumn months in preparation for higher winter demand.
The largest export volumes from Iran have consistently been going to China. Although a significant drop off can be observed in December 2017, despite this Chinese imports rebounded thereafter and have been largely stable, which falls in line with China's declaration that it will ignore US sanctions and continue doing business with Iran.
Greek owners still dominate exports, with 81 Greek tankers moving Iranian exports since Jan. 1, 2018.
Nonetheless, the Iranian owner NITC supplies the most tonnage for Iranian exports for now, this is likely to drop off after the last grace period ends in early November this year.
The draw of higher freight premiums for Iranian business appears to be quite attractive thus far, particularly in relation to more conventional voyages out of the Middle East.