Iran resumes gasoline exports to neighbouring Afghanistan


LONDON:

Iran resumed gasoline exports to Afghanistan just a few days in the past following a request from the new Afghan authorities, which feels empowered by the US withdrawal to purchase the sanctioned nation’s oil extra overtly, an Iranian official advised Reuters.

The Taliban seized energy in Afghanistan final week because the United States and its allies withdrew troops after a 20-year struggle.

The worth of gasoline in Afghanistan reached $900 per tonne as many Afghans drove out of cities, fearing reprisals and a return to a harsh Taliban rule imposed when in energy twenty years in the past.

To counter the value spike, the brand new Taliban requested Iran to maintain the borders open for merchants.

“The Taliban sent messages to Iran saying ‘you can continue the exports of petroleum products,'” Hamid Hosseini, board member and spokesperson of Iran’s Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Products Exporters’ Union, in Tehran, advised Reuters.

The Taliban despatched messages to Iranian merchants and to an Iranian chamber of commerce, which has shut hyperlinks to the federal government.

As a consequence, the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA), which is part of the federal government, lifted a ban on gasoline exports to Afghanistan, which had been in place since Aug 6 due to Iran’s considerations in regards to the security of buying and selling within the nation.

Those considerations have been eased by the Taliban’s angle, Hosseini mentioned.

He additionally cited the Taliban’s determination to chop tariffs on imports of gasoline from Iran and different neighbouring international locations and shared with Reuters an official doc issued by Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan – the title by which the Taliban refers to itself.

The doc specified a 70% low cost on tariffs on imports of gasoline, diesel and LPG from the neighbouring international locations to Afghanistan.

Iran-Taliban cooperation

Iran sits on the world’s fourth-largest oil reserves, however the newest spherical of US sanctions imposed by former US president Donald Trump in 2018, has considerably decreased Iranian oil exports.

Iran has nonetheless managed some commerce, notably by trucking gasoline to neighbours similar to Afghanistan, and the US troop withdrawal has made leaders of each Iran and Afghanistan much less nervous about dealing extra overtly, Hosseini mentioned.

The primary Iranian exports to Afghanistan are gasoline and gasoil. Iran exported about 400,000 tonnes of gasoline to its neighbour from May 2020 to May 2021, based on a report printed by PetroView, an Iranian oil and gasoline analysis and consultancy platform.

Iranian gasoline flows have been important to Afghanistan in the previous few years, based on merchants and an Afghan authorities report, seen by Reuters.

Between March 2020 and March 2021, Iran accounted for $367 million of imports, largely of gasoline, based on the report compiled by the Afghan ministry of finance, chambers of commerce and knowledge from personal enterprises.

The subsequent two most vital oil suppliers are Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan with commerce, largely oil, valued at $257 million and $236 million respectively.

A supply with direct information of the matter, who requested to not be named, mentioned greater than 1 million tonnes per yr, or over 20,000 barrels per day, of Iranian gasoline goes to Afghanistan.

Expanding cooperation?

The primary locations of Iran’s gasoline have been japanese provinces near the Iranian border, and southern areas like Kandahar and Nimrooz the place the Taliban had a robust affect even earlier than the push of latest weeks, Hosseini mentioned.

“I think the new Iranian government will significantly expand cooperation with the Taliban government. Iran can easily double its trade with Afghanistan. The government of (Ashraf) Ghani was always trying to limit cooperation with Iran since Iran was under US sanctions,” Hosseini mentioned.

Afghanistan has not developed an oil business of its personal. The nation has six mini-refineries that solely produce a number of thousand barrels per day of refined merchandise every.

They run on gentle oil from Turkmenistan whose two refineries additionally instantly provide diesel and jet gasoline.

Uzbekistan’s two primary refineries additionally provide refined merchandise by rail and truck.

The supply with direct information mentioned provides of Turkmen condensate (gentle crude oil) has ceased a month in the past due to the safety state of affairs, however predicted it will resume in about two weeks’ time.

“The problem is the banks stopped working three days ago so we might be back to bags of cash,” the supply mentioned.

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