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Iran Bracing For Economic Contraction As Oil Exports Crumble

Iran’s Parliament Research Center is predicting negative growth for Iran in the current fiscal year that ends March 20 due to its falling exports, Radio Farda reported on Friday.

The economic contraction could be as significant as 5.5 percent negative growth, the Research Center figures, with the best-case scenario ending with a 2.6 percent negative growth.

The rosier scenario of the two assumes that Iran will see a 800,000 barrel per day loss in Iran’s crude oil exports. The bleaker view assumes Iran’s oil exports will dip by 1.6 million barrels per day.

Beyond March 2019, when this fiscal year ends, the research center is predicting a 4.5 to 5.5 percent contraction.

Iran’s oil exports have decreased despite Iran’s insistence that the U.S. sanctions levied against Iran in November would have no effect on its oil exports.

But Iran’s oil exports have dropped, including in November 2018, the first month that the US sanctions were in force. November saw a several-hundred-thousand-barrel decline because although eight major importers of Iranian oil secured sanction waivers, they were not given until the last minute, Unsure if they would get a waiver or not, they tapered their call for Iranian oil for fear of violating the sanctions.

While unofficial, Reuters reported that Iran’s exports to Asia recently fell to 660,000 barrels a day compared to 1.7 million barrels a day in 2017.

(Click to enlarge)

Source: Reuters Statistics

Iran’s total crude oil exports are likely somewhere between 1.3 million and 1.5 million barrels daily, down from roughly 2.7 million barrels per day pre-sanction.

To mitigate the effects of the US sanctions on its oil exports, Iran is making a push to become self-sufficient with gasoline by increase its capacity to 100 million liters daily.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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  • EHLipton on January 07 2019 said:
    Breaking News! The U.S. has absolutely nothing to do with Iran's negative growth!
    China's reduction of use of Fossil fuels along with its increase of its own reserve's through wise diplomacy with all producing Nation's has put it in a less depending position. They have over 2000 yr's of learning skills at governance. The USA, great as I feel it is has just under 250. Most of the world recognize us as now not so much a leader in human rights, or good governance,, but as a military power house to be dealt with softly till those too are on an equal or possibly stronger balance. The ole carrot and the stick approach only works for a while, same with the bully approach.
    You,, could even find your having to give the oil away just to rid yourself of the cost of storage if not careful when reading too far in the future.
    #1 thing here; don't be too boisterous,, were not all that significant anymore than any one else. Trump, Clinton,Bush, none of us or them RULE THE WORLD!
    The world is round for more reason then turning to and away from the sun, it ain't flat,, there are No Kings of the hill.
  • Andrew Ian Murphy on January 05 2019 said:
    Poop Iran...so the American oil sanctions are actually working. Wow. I just wonder, what gives the United States the right to say anything at all about another soveriegn state? They have no right at all.

    Anyway, we all know where this is heading right now, a war is coming. We can see the lead-up, in the exact same manner as that of the American invasion of Iraq.

    When will the world wake up to the fact that the true problem in the world is America itself, which kills and maims millions of people every decade that passes. When will the world realize that it is irrelevant whether one does what the Americans claim to want or not, all they care about is forcing other nations to bow at their feet.
  • Mamdouh G Salameh on January 05 2019 said:
    This is a prediction and not a reality and like all predictions it needs evidence which you failed to provide.

    Another important thing is that you should judge Iranian exports over a 12-month period or at least a 6-month period to get a better and more reliable data.

    If Iran is saying that US sanctions would have no effect on its oil exports, then I am inclined to believe it more than unofficial reports by Reuters. Since the re-introduction of US sanctions, Iranian President Rouhani has confirmed that Iranian oil exports have improved and the Central Bank of Iran has also confirmed that Iranian oil revenues have also improved.

    95% of Iranian oil exports go to China (35%), India (33%), the EU (20%) and Turkey (7%). All of these countries confirmed that they will not comply with US sanctions and they are continuing to buy Iranian crude. The Remaining 5% is bought by Japan and South Korea and both of them are continuing to import Iranian crude under US sanction waivers.

    In fact, China and India have both significantly raised the volumes of their imports of Iranian crude while Turkey is continuing to import larger volumes of Iranian crude and recently Turkish President Erdogan defied pressure by the US to reduce Turkey’s imports of Iranian oil.

    Before the sanctions, Iran was exporting 2.125 million barrels a day (mbd) on average according to the very authoritative 2018 OPEC Annual Statistical Bulletin. This is a far more reliable source of information on OPEC affairs than Reuters’ official or unofficial reporting.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

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