India’s Nayara Energy begins cutting Iran oil imports

A tanker pictured near the Indian port of Kochi. Indian refiner Nayara Energy has begun cutting imports from Iran. (Shutterstock)
Updated 11 June 2018

India’s Nayara Energy begins cutting Iran oil imports

  • Refiner is one of India’s biggest buyers of Iran oil
  • US sanctions on Iran’s petroleum industry will take effect Nov. 4

NEW DELHI: Indian refiner Nayara Energy, one of the country’s biggest buyers of Iranian oil, began cutting imports this month after the US scrapped a nuclear deal with Tehran and said it would re-impose tough sanctions, three people familiar with knowledge of the matter said.

Previously named Essar Oil, Nayara was bought by Russian state oil-giant Rosneft and partners in a $12.9 billion deal last year. It typically buys around 5.5-6 million barrels a month from Iran, according to data made available to Reuters from industry and shipping sources.

The cuts by Nayara provide the latest indication that Asian buyers will cut orders from Iran after US President Donald Trump last month pulled out from the 2015 accord between Iran and world powers that lifted sanctions on Tehran in exchange for curbs to its nuclear program.

“Nayara will be lifting about 40-50 percent less than the average volumes, limiting its intake of Iranian oil to about 3-4 million barrels in a month,” said one of the people. All three sources declined to be identified as they were not authorized to talk to media.

Iran’s oil exports hit 2.7 million barrels per day (bpd) in May, the oil ministry’s news agency SHANA reported earlier this month.

India, the world’s third-biggest oil consumer and importer, imports about 4.5 million bpd, according to the data from shipping and industry sources.

Asked by Reuters whether Nayara plans to reduce monthly Iranian oil imports by 40-50 percent, the company said, “There are no specific cut-backs planned as of now,” adding “we are still seeking clarifications from all concerned.”

The US sanctions on Iran’s petroleum industry will take effect after a 180-day “wind-down period” ending on Nov. 4 but many European refiners, as well as buyers in Asia, are already winding down Iranian oil purchases.

The cuts by Nayara have kicked in before similar moves by Indian peers. Reliance Industries, owner of the world’s biggest single refining complex, plans to halt oil imports from Iran from October-November, sources said last month.

Nayara’s chief executive B. Anand said last week the refiner did not expect problems in finding alternative supplies in should it reduce Iranian orders. Anand said Nayara would leverage the supply and trading network of its major stakeholders, Rosneft and Swiss commodity trader Trafigura, to replace Iranian oil.

Officially, India’s oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan last week said the country has adopted a “wait and watch” policy pending clarity on the impact of US sanctions.

UK core pay growth strongest in nearly 11 years, but jobs growth slows

Data showed the unemployment rate remained at 3.8 percent as expected. (Shutterstock)
Updated 16 July 2019

UK core pay growth strongest in nearly 11 years, but jobs growth slows

  • Core earnings have increased by 3.6 percent annually, beating the median forecast of 3.5 percent
  • The unemployment rate fell by 51,000 to just under 1.3 million

LONDON: British wages, excluding bonuses, rose at their fastest pace in more than a decade in the three months to May, official data showed, but there were some signs that the labor market might be weakening. Core earnings rose by an annual 3.6 percent, beating the median forecast of 3.5 percent in a Reuters poll of economists. Including bonuses, pay growth also picked up to 3.4 percent from 3.2 percent, stronger than the 3.1 percent forecast in the poll. Britain’s labor market has been a silver lining for the economy since the Brexit vote in June 2016, something many economists attribute to employers preferring to hire workers that they can later lay off over making longer-term commitments to investment. The pick-up in pay has been noted by the Bank of England which says it might need to raise interest rates in response, assuming Britain can avoid a no-deal Brexit. Tuesday’s data showed the unemployment rate remained at 3.8 percent as expected, its joint-lowest since the three months to January 1975. The number of people out of work fell by 51,000 to just under 1.3 million. But the growth in employment slowed to 28,000, the weakest increase since the three months to August last year and vacancies fell to their lowest level in more than a year. Some recent surveys of companies have suggested employers are turning more cautious about hiring as Britain approaches its new Brexit deadline of Oct. 31. Both the contenders to be prime minister say they would leave the EU without a transition deal if necessary. A survey published last week showed that companies were more worried about Brexit than at any time since the decision to leave the European Union and they planned to reduce investment and hiring. “The labor market continues to be strong,” ONS statistician Matt Hughes said. “Regular pay is growing at its fastest rate for nearly 11 years in cash terms and its quickest for over three years after taking account of inflation.” The BoE said in May it expected wage growth of 3 percent at the end of this year.