Iran’s oil sales to its main Asian customers have increased once more, as Iranian authorities report that economic growth has moved well into the positive range.

On Friday December 26, the Japanese ministry of economy, trade and industries reported that in November, Japan bought more than 163,000 barrels of oil a day from Iran. This marks a 98-percent increase compared to the previous November.

Reuters also said that Chinese government sources have reported a 53-percent increase in oil imports from Iran for November and an overall 29-percent increase in imports in the first 11 months of the year compared to last year.

With the steep fall in oil prices on world markets, Iran is facing a big shortfall in its budget.

Some experts say the increase in the purchase of oil by Japan and China may be aimed at storing oil at low prices, as some have predicted that it will rise again in the near future.