India delays order for Iran oil, pending sanctions waiver clarity

India delays order for Iran oil, pending sanctions waiver clarity
Bharat Petroleum Corp is one of the Indian companies that purchases Iranian oil. (AFP/File)
Updated 09 April 2019

India delays order for Iran oil, pending sanctions waiver clarity

India delays order for Iran oil, pending sanctions waiver clarity
  • India expects the US waiver to be released in 7-10 days
  • US gave 8 nations a six-month waiver to purchase Iranian oil

NEW DELHI: Indian refiners are holding back from ordering Iranian oil for loading in May pending clarity on whether Washington will extend a waiver from US sanctions against the OPEC-member, four sources said.
In November, US President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and re-imposed broad economic sanctions.
Washington, however, gave a six-month waiver to eight nations including India, allowing them to import some Iranian oil until early May. India, Iran’s top oil client after China, was allowed to buy about 9 million barrels a month.
India hopes to get clarity in seven to 10 days on any extension of the waiver, as well as the amount of oil that could be purchased if an extension is given, the sources said.
“We don’t know about US thinking, whether they will allow India to buy oil or not,” said one of the sources, all of whom declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue.
Under the current waiver, India can buy about 300,000 bpd of Iranian oil — about half the amount before the sanctions were imposed — and New Delhi wants to keep buying Iranian oil at that level, Indian sources said last month.
Since November only state-run Indian Oil Corp, Bharat Petroleum Corp, Hindustan Petroleum and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals have been buying Iranian oil.
State-refiners and India’s oil ministry did not respond to Reuters request for comments.
Brian Hook, the special US envoy for Iran, in March said Washington is pursuing its plan to bring Iranian crude exports to zero. Last week Hook said three of eight importers granted waivers by Washington have cut shipments to zero.
“Sanctions against IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) have also added to the uncertainty over supply of Iranian oil ... in the current scenario when enough alternatives are available it is better to wait for a clarity,” said another of the sources.
Trump on Monday designated Iran’s Guards a foreign terrorist organization. Iran’s president Rouhani said Tehran will resist US pressure and hailed IRGC as defenders of Iranians.


Australia bounces out of recession as economy grows 3.3 percent

Updated 02 December 2020

Australia bounces out of recession as economy grows 3.3 percent

  • ‘Australia’s recession may be over, but Australia’s economic recovery is not’
  • Before this year, Australia had managed to avoid a recession for 28 years

WELLINGTON, New Zealand: Australia’s economy grew by 3.3 percent in the third quarter, rebounding from its first recession in nearly three decades as it recovered from pandemic-related shocks, according to figures released Wednesday.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told reporters the country still has a lot of ground to make up from the coronavirus downturn.

“Australia’s recession may be over, but Australia’s economic recovery is not,” he said.

Despite the latest quarterly rise, the economy contracted at a 3.8 percent annual pace. That’s after GDP fell by 0.3 percent in the first quarter and then by a record 7 percent in the second quarter.

“But the Australian economy has demonstrated its remarkable resilience and Australia is as well positioned as any other nation on Earth,” Frydenberg said. “Today’s national accounts represent a major step forward in Australia’s economic recovery.”

Before this year, Australia had managed to avoid a recession for 28 years. The economy grew even during the global financial crisis thanks to strong demand for Australia’s mineral exports and a robust domestic sector.

The better-than-expected figures were encouraging, economists said.

“The rebound in Q3 GDP reversed around 40 percent of the decline during the first half of the year and we expect output to return to pre-virus levels by mid-2021,” Ben Udy of Capital Economics said in a commentary.

Now on top of the pandemic, Australia is enduring a spate of rocky relations with China, its biggest trading partner.

Frydenberg said the situation with China is “very serious” but his government is focusing on striking deals with other countries in Asia and beyond.

“We have great produce, and we have great services, and we have great resource sectors, and I’m very optimistic about the opportunities for our exporters around the world,” he said.

Australia’s relationship with China worsened this week after a Chinese official tweeted a fake image of a grinning Australian soldier holding a bloodied knife to a child’s throat.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison called the image “repugnant” and demanded an apology from the Chinese government. But China has not backed down.

The post took aim at alleged abuses by elite Australian soldiers during the conflict in Afghanistan.

Tensions have been growing this year since the Australian government called for an independent inquiry into the origins of the pandemic. China has imposed tariffs and other restrictions on a number of Australian exports.