Iran's petrol imports rise 20% in Feb
Iran's February petrol imports are expected to rise by 20 per cent versus the previous month, as it continued to build inventories because of the threat of tougher sanctions, traders said yesterday.
Iran was expected to purchase up to 153,000 barrels per day (bpd) of petrol from the international spot market in February or about 18 cargoes. Petrol purchases for February were about 23 per cent over the 2009 import average for Iran, the world's fifth-largest oil exporter, Reuters data showed.
"They are ramping up their stockpiling, I don't reckon demand there has suddenly expanded, this is more likely to do with their concern over harder sanctions," said a Middle East- based trader.
Last week the US Senate approved legislation that would allow President Barack Obama to penalise companies that export petrol to Iran or help it expand its oil-refining capacity by, in part, denying them loans and other assistance from US financial institutions.
Cutting off petrol supplies would hurt the economy.
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