Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb.4 / Trend F.Mehdi/
Iran has recently started coding smart fuel cards to combat illegal gasoline trade at border areas, the Mehr News Agency reported.
Gasoline is currently traded at 15,000 rials (about $1.2) per litre at Iran's border areas as renting fuel smart cards to other people is frequent.
Studies show that a large number of the fuel cards are being rented to smugglers at border areas.
According to Oil Ministry officials, up to three million litres of gasoline are smuggled per day from Iran to the neighbouring countries.
After a huge decrease in smuggled fuel from Iran in 2011 because of cutting offered subsides in this field, fuel smuggling revived itself again during the past few months due to the fall in the national currency's value.
The Iranian government cut a part of the fuel subsides in late 2010, raising prices significantly which in turn led to a decrease in fuel smuggling from 10 million litres in 2008 to three million litres per day in early 2011, according to official statistics.
However, after the drop of the rial's value versus the USD during the past few months by above 40 per cent when fuel prices remained unchanged, created the revival in smuggling.
Deputy oil minister Alireza Zeighami said on Nov.25 that some six million litres of diesel is being smuggled from Iran each day. Gasoline smuggling has risen to two million litres per day during the past few months as well.
Gasoline consumption in Iran has risen by one billion litres during the first 10 months of the current Iranian calendar year which began on March 20, 2012, compared to the same period in the preceding year, the Shana News Agency reported.
Gasoline consumption hit 60 million litres per day in the tenth calendar month of the Day (December 21, 2012-January 19, 2013) showing a 7.3 per cent growth rate compared to the same month last year.
Deputy Manager of National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company (NIOPDC) Naser Sajjadi said Iran's gasoline consumption increases by five per cent each year.
He also said that considering the official reference rate of 12,260 rials to the US dollar, the real price of gasoline in Iran is 10,000 rials (about 82 U.S. cents).
Currently gasoline is sold at two prices: a 60 litre monthly allowance at 4000 rials (33 cents) per litre and any amount above that at 7000 rials (57 cents) per litre.
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