Iran may raise gasoline, CNG prices

The Iranian parliament’s (Majlis) integration committee has proposed increasing prices of gasoline and CNG in the current Iranian calendar year if the second phase of the subsidy reform plan is not implemented, Mehr News Agency reported.

According to the proposal, semi-subsidised gasoline which is currently sold at 4000 rials (33 cents), will be sold at 7000 rials, and the free market gasoline price will be increased to 9000 rials from 7000 rials.

The premium gasoline price will be increased by 3000 rials to 8000 rials, as well.

Currently gasoline is sold at two prices: a 60 litre monthly allowance at 4000 rials (33 cents) per litre and any amount above that at 7000 rials (57 cents) per litre.

Gasoline consumption in Iran has risen during the past two years so that it reached 64 million litres per day in the past year compared with 59 million litres two years ago.

Mehr also reported that the CNG price may also rise in the current year, but did not provide details. Each cubic meter of CNG is sold at 2600 rials (some $0.2) to CNG stations.

On April 6, IRNA quoted National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company official Shahram Asadpour as saying that Iran plans to establish 314 new compressed natural gas (CNG) stations across the country in order to boost the CNG share in the country’s fuel basket by two per cent to reach 25 per cent.

The number of compressed natural gas filling stations in the country stands at 1976, he added.

On March 15, IRIB quoted Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Alireza Zeighami as saying that gasoline production in Iran will exceed consumption by the end of the next Iranian calendar year (March 2014).

On January 14, MP Abdolkarim Hashemi told the Fars News Agency that the Iranian administration is facing problems providing money for paying cash subsidies to the public.

In such a situation the second phase of the subsidy reform plan could not be implemented, he added.

“For the time being the government is providing the necessary money out of sources other than freeing up prices based on the subsidy reform plan,” he noted.

The subsidy reform plan pays out $37 to Iranians while eliminating subsidies for fuels and some commodities.

According to official government data, Iranian gasoline imports have slumped by as much as 95 per cent over the last four years as rising refinery capacity and lowering fuel subsidies help neutralise Western sanctions aimed at starving Tehran of fuel.

By Zawya


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