Iranian crude exports to its four main buyers in Asia fell by 2% in May 2017, from a year before. The exports drop is  the first year-on-year decline since January 2016, when Western sanctions were lifted leading to a spike in Tehran’s exports, Reuters reported.

According to CNBC, Iran’s top four Asian buyers, China, India, South Korea and Japan, imported 1.6mb/d during May 2017, government and ship-tracking data showed.

Iran was exempted from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreement to reduce output by 1.2mb/d that began in 2017, a victory for Tehran which has argued that it needs to regain the market share it lost under Western sanctions over its disputed nuclear program.

Oil Minister, Bijan Zanganeh, announced that the overall Iranian oil output was hovering at more than 3.9mb/d and is expected to reach 4mb/d by March 2018.

Iran’s oil exports to the West surged in May to their highest level since sanctions were lifted. Looking ahead, Iran’s crude oil exports in July are set to fall 7% from this month’s three-month high, mainly due to a decline in exports to Europe.

Japan’s Trade Ministry released official data, on June 30, showing that Japan’s Iranian imports tumbled by nearly half, reflecting lower demand because of the refinery maintenance season.