Iran finally accepts oil export drop

Dalga Khatinoglu, Trend Agency's Iran Service Department Chief

Although the Iranian authorities have several times rejected the idea that oil exports have dropped, Vice Parliamentary Speaker Mohammad-Reza Bahonar have finally announced that oil exports have dropped to around 1 million barrels per day (bpd) during first half of solar year (started on March 19) averagely, while this figure for June and July has fallen to around 800,000 barrels per day.

Earlier, US Treasury Department announced that Iran is losing monthly $5 billion in oil revenues due to western sanctions and restrictions over its oil export and banking system.

Iran's oil export during last year was 2.3 million barrels per day and according to OPEC statistics it gained about $110 billion in 2011 from oil crude export.

Bahonar said that Iran's budget bill for current solar year was approved at $5, 660 trillion rials (about $449 billion), but only 1000 trillion rials of that has been realized during six months of current solar year. This means, about 20 percent of Iranian government's total revenues according to budget bill has been realized during a half of year.

About 20 to 25 percent of Iranian government's revenues rely directly on crude oil export, then finalizing about 20 percent of Iranian budget bill during six months indicates that addition to oil export, other sources of Iranian government revenues have been affected.

Deficit in Iran's current solar year's budget is occurring while Mohamamd-Reza Khabbaz who served as a former member of the economic committee of Parliament until May 2012, announced in January 2012 that Ahmadinejad's government faced a $15 billion deficit during last solar year (ended March 18) and borrowed the deficit amount from banks.

The Iranian Central Bank issued a report in May 2012, saying government debts to internal banks until the last solar year have increased four times during six years and reached 400 trillion rials (equals to $31.7 billion based on the official USD rate) and the head of the Supreme Audit Court, Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli confirmed in June 2011 that the Iranian government borrowed $15 billion from banks during first eight months of starting the subsidy reform plan.

It is not clear what Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would do with current situation, but regarding increase of USD rate in Iran from 10,400 rials to 25 ,500 during 18 months shows a great challenge for Iran's economy.

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