Friday, 16 November, 2018

USA grants waivers to nearly all Iran oil clients

Oil price falls to $75 from high of $86 Rouhani: Iran does not fear new US sanctions on energy, banking sectors
Orlando Vargas | 02 November, 2018, 14:11

The United States is preparing to impose new sanctions on Iran's oil industry after Washington withdrew from a nuclear deal between Tehran and other global powers earlier this year.

Yet, one thing is clear, and here analysts were right-Iran's top two single largest oil customers, China and India, will continue to import Iranian crude.

"Oil prices sold off sharply. on news that the US administration would grant waivers for oil imports from Iran", Goldman Sachs analysts said in a note to clients.

The US government has agreed to let eight countries, including close allies South Korea and Japan, as well as India, keep buying Iranian oil aid the upcoming sanctions, Bloomberg reported, citing a US official.

Already, through its pressure campaign, the USA has managed to reduce Iran's oil exports from 2.7 million to 1.6 million barrels a month, according to internal US estimates.

The U.S. sanctions enter into full force November 5, with the aim of limiting Iranian supply.

"The waivers granted to these eight countries shows that the market needs Iran's oil and it can not be pulled out of the market".

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Iran will reportedly continue doing business on SWIFT, and the U.S. administration will extend waivers to several countries allowing them to continue purchasing Iranian oil - a concession that was mulled earlier in September, sources said. "I don't know whether these waivers are permanent or temporary", state TV quoted Iran's Deputy Oil Minister Ali Kardor as saying. In October, WTI crude oil settled 10.9 percent lower, while Brent finished 8.8 percent lower for the month.

India has told the US that it would be impossible for India until at least next March to stop importing Iranian oil-which is cheaper than alternatives-because of India's rising energy bill and weaker currency, an Indian government source told Reuters earlier this week.

"We think Trump will agree to China importing some volumes, similar to the treatment that India and South Korea receive", Clayton Allen of Height Securities said in a note on Friday.

India and other key importing countries have been engaged for months with the U.S. for a waiver. Turkey's Energy Ministry said on Friday it had not received written notification of any exemption.

- Financial transactions. Starting on Monday, any foreign institution that does business with Iran's central bank or other banks in the country will lose access to the United States financial system.

Iran on Friday said that the waivers granted by the USA showed the Iranian crude was needed and could not be withdrawn from the market. Traders said increased production from the United Arab Emirates and Libya more than offset a cut in Iranian shipments due to US sanctions, set to start on November.

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