Iran's gas condensate exports surpass pre-sanctions level
By Dalga Khatinoglu, Trend:
The latest detailed monthly report of Iranian Customs Administration, published on Dec.1 says the country's gas condensate export reached 5,582 thousand tons during the eight months of Iranian calendar year, which began on March 20.
Based on the last month's report, Iran's total condensate export stood at 4,433 thousand tons (first seven months), or about 190,000 barrels per day.
Then, according the statistics of 7-month and 8-month periods, Iran exported about 1,149 thousand tons of condensates during the 8-th month (October 23 - November 22)- which equals to 345,000 barrels per day, and indicates approximately 48 percent increase compared to average condensate exports during first seven months of Iranian year.
Iran's total condensate export amount for last solar year was 9,630 thousand tons, which indicates 15.36 percent drop compared to the previous year.
Before Iran had sanctions imposed on it, the country's condensate export was about 280,000 to 300,000 barrels per day, or 13 percent less that Iran's 8-th month's figure the current year.
The gas condensate is the best feedstock for producing some expensive petrochemical products including polymers.
The U.S. hasn't imposed any concrete restrictive sanctions directly over Iran's condensate exports, but has the option to impose sanctions on customers only if there is sufficient alternative supply available.
Then international refineries has decreased condensate import from Iran, fearing for their reputation to be damaged, as well as worrying about sanctions-affected payment, insurance and banking problems.
Iran's condensate consumption is less than 40,000 barrels per day.
The EU imposed sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), as well as banned insurance services for tankers which carry Iranian oil since mid-2012. The insurance restrictions affected about 95 percent of the global tanker fleet because the ships are covered under rules governed by the European law.
The U.S also included CBI in the black list, alongside giving six-month period wavers for Iranian oil customers versus making "significant decrease" the Iranian crude oil imports every 180 days.
Iran's crude oil export has dropped from 2.2 million barrels per day- equals to roughly 20 percent of GDP- to about one million barrels since 2011.
According to the customs Administration last month's report, the country's gas condensates exports in the first seven months and eight months of the current year stood at $3.926 billion and $4.944 billion.
So Iran averagely exported $560 million of gas condensates each month in the seven months period, while the figure reached to $1.018 billion in 8-th month, which is about 45 percent more than the average amount of the preceding months.
However, Iran's light oil exports for the first eight months decreased by 21.36 percent in value and 21.45 percent in volume compared to the same period the last solar year.
The condensate and petrochemical exports share 47.2 percent of the country's total exports in last eight months.
Iranian Customs Administration's latest report has also shown that the country totally exported $6.405 billion worth of petrochemicals in the first eight months of the current year.
According to the last month's report, the country's petrochemical exports in the first seven months were around $5.592 billion, which makes a monthly average of $798 million, while the eight month's figure stood at $813 million.
Iran exported $15 billion worth of petrochemicals in the calendar year of 1390 (Ended on March 20, 2012), but the figure dropped by 33 percent in the next year reaching only $10 billion.
Iran exported 56.844 million tons of non-oil goods worth $24.605 billion in the first eight months of the current Iranian calendar year, which is 12.7 percent less than the same period last year, Iran's Customs Administration reported.
Iran also imported 18.925 million tons of non-oil goods worth $28.247 billion in the mentioned period. The figure shows 22.7 percent decrease compared to the same period last year.
China with $4.252 billion, Iraq with $3.87 billion, the United Arab Emirates with $2.318 billion, India with $1.659 billion, and Afghanistan with $1.639 billion were the main destinations for Iran's non-oil goods in the mentioned period.
Iron ore, methanol, and tar were the main exported items.
The United Arab Emirates with $5.854 billion, China with $5.539 billion, India with $2.607 billion, South Korea with $2.389 billion, and Turkey with $2.307 billion were also the main exporters of non-oil goods to Iran in the mentioned period.
Rice ($1.61 billion), press cake ($1.057 billion), wheat ($751 million), corn ($745 million), and motor vehicles with internal combustion engine ($634 million) were the main imported items.
Dalga Khatinoglu is head of Iran News Service of Trend Agency