Basra Light crude imports to the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) have risen by more than 4.4 million barrels so far in April versus the same period in March, according to data from Platts Analytics and US Customs, Platts reported.

A total of 4.937 million barrels of crude have been imported into Morgan City, Louisiana in the first half of April, more than double the total Basra Light imported into LOOP for all of March (2.027 million barrels), and a 840% increase from the imports in the first half of March (525,000 barrels).

The figures also represent a year-on-year (Y.o.Y) increase; for the first half of April 2017 LOOP received 525,000 barrels, and 3.557 million barrels for the whole month, marking a difference of roughly 1.38 million barrels compared to the first half of April 2018.

Rising global refinery rates after the spring refinery maintenance season led to increased demand for sour grades of crude (crude with a high sulfur percentage). Refinery rates in the US Gulf Coast have increased by 666,000 b/d to a total 9.053 mb/d since the start of March.

Basra Light crude has an average API gravity of 30.6 degrees and a typical sulfur content of 2.19%. It is a component grade of a crude blend called Segregation 17, which also includes Arab Medium and Kuwait Export Crude.