Iran beefs up oil tanker fleet on growing business from China

Updated 10 August 2013
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Iran beefs up oil tanker fleet on growing business from China

PARIS: Iran has beefed up its oil tanker fleet with vessels from China and is selling more crude to Beijing as Tehran struggles under international sanctions, the IEA said in a report.
Iran’s once lucrative oil sector has been crippled by sanctions imposed by the US and the European Union over Tehran’s controversial nuclear drive. Despite Iranian denials, the West is convinced Tehran is pursuing a nuclear bomb.
In its monthly oil market report, the International Energy Agency said Iranian crude oil production in July fell back to 2.6 million barrels per day (mbd) — 50,000 million barrels less per day from June.
In contrast, however, the IEA said that preliminary data show that Iranian crude oil exports climbed to 1.16 mbd from just 960,000 barrels per day in June, mainly owing to a rebound in Chinese imports which last month rose to 660,000 barrels of oil per day from 385,000 the month before.
“Just five countries reported importing crude from Iran in July — China, Japan, South Korea, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates,” the IEA said, noting the number of countries totaled as many as 16 in January 2012.
Despite this, the IEA said “Iran continues to expand its shipping fleet in a bid to sustain crude sales in the wake of increasingly stringent international sanctions.”
Since May, it has added four more supertankers, known as VLCCs, to its fleet, which now totals 37 VLCCs and 14 smaller crude tankers.
Most of the additions come from China as part of a 2009 deal to buy 12 VLCCs for $1.2 billion (898 million euros).
“The expanding shipping fleet should provide the state oil company more flexibility in marketing its crude and for use in floating storage,” the IEA said.
In his first news conference since taking office, Iran’s new President Hassan Rowhani earlier this month said he is determined to find a solution to the nuclear program issue.
The IEA said that although analysts are still skeptical, “markets warmed to the tone.”


Egyptian economy on right track after 5.6% growth in 2018-2019: prime minister

Updated 17 July 2019
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Egyptian economy on right track after 5.6% growth in 2018-2019: prime minister

  • Egypt is emerging from a three-year economic reform program tied to a $12 billion loan from the IMF
  • Egypt has been praised by international lenders for swift reforms implemented since 2016

CAIRO: Egypt’s economy grew 5.6 percent in the 2018/19 fiscal year and is “on the right track” as it completes IMF-backed reforms, Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouli said on Wednesday.
The budget deficit came in at 8.2 percent of GDP, he said, which was slightly below an official forecast of 8.4 percent.
Egypt is emerging from a three-year economic reform program tied to a $12 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund.
Madbouli said Egypt’s primary surplus stood at 2 percent for the fiscal year, which ended in June, and also pointed to a recent drop in inflation as positive signs. Economic growth was up from 5.3 percent in 2017/18 and in line with a government forecast.
“At the same time, it induces us to complete the implementation of reforms and the efforts exerted to achieve the targets for the new fiscal year,” Madbouli said in a statement said.
Egypt has been praised by international lenders for swift reforms implemented since 2016, though austerity measures and inflation have left many Egyptians struggling to get by.
The reforms included a sharp devaluation of the currency, the introduction of value-added tax and the elimination of subsidies on most fuel products.
Headline annual inflation dropped to 9.4 percent in June from 14.1 percent the previous month, though it is expected to rise over the rest of the summer as the impact of the latest round of fuel subsidy cuts kicks in.