Economy, Domestic Economy

Tehran, New Delhi Launch Online Trading Portal

Iran is now the biggest oil exporter to India. Iran is now the biggest oil exporter to India.

India and Iran announced on Thursday the launch of an online portal for facilitating trade, which will provide an e-marketplace for buyers and sellers of the two countries.

Inderjit Singh, additional secretary of India’s Department of Commerce, announced the launch of the portal in the presence of Gholamreza Ansari, Iran’s ambassador in New Delhi, Khaleel Rahim, chairman and managing director of State Trading Corporation of India, and other directors of STC, the online Indian business magazine domain-B reported.

State Trading Corporation of India is a government-owned company dealing mainly in bulk international trade.

The Hind-Iran portal (, a joint initiative of STC and Douman Queshm, Iran, aims to disseminate information relevant to Indo-Iran trade.

The Iranian ambassador said Iran and India enjoy deep social, cultural, economic and political relations that have enriched both countries.

“The two countries have grown closer in turbulent times at the peak of the economic sanctions against Iran, when it was India that emerged as a valuable trading partner of Iran. The portal is aimed at bridging the communication divide in the business communities, which are very interested in trading with each other,” he said.

Ansari also acknowledged India as a friend who stood by Iran in tough times, and supported this initiative.

Iran overtook OPEC rival Saudi Arabia as India’s top oil supplier in October, shipping data showed, just ahead of a producers’ meeting this month to hammer out the details on output cuts aimed at reining in a global glut.

Iran used to be India’s second-biggest oil supplier, a position it ceded to Iraq after western sanctions over its nuclear program limited Tehran’s exports and access to finance.

However, India’s oil imports from Iran have shot up this year after those sanctions were lifted in January.

In October, they surged more than threefold compared with the same month of last year, rising to 789,000 barrels per day, according to ship tracking data and a report compiled by Thomson Reuters Oil Research and Forecasts. That compares to 697,000 bpd supplied last month by Saudi Arabia.

Over the whole January to October period, though, Saudi Arabia still holds India’s top supply spot, at an average of 830,000 bpd versus Iraq’s 784,000 bpd and Iran’s 456,400 bpd.

Iran’s surge to the No. 1 spot is due partly to less available crude from Saudi Arabia, which has increased its capacity to refine oil instead of just exporting more crude.

In the non-oil sector, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Customs Administration’s latest data show, Iran exported 5.1 million tons of goods worth $1.6 billion to India during the seven months to October 21, registering a 3% increase in value over last year’s corresponding period.

Gas condensates, petrochemicals, steel products, gypsum, dates and pistachio were among the main exported commodities.

In return, more than 762,000 tons of goods worth $900 million were imported from India to Iran, which indicates a 36% decline in value year-on-year. The imports mainly included rice, steel products, iron ore, aluminum oxide, industrial machinery, pharmaceuticals, tea, banana, paper and wood.

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