IME to Establish Bitumen Bourse

IME to Establish Bitumen BourseIME to Establish Bitumen Bourse

Iran Mercantile Exchange will establish a bitumen bourse in the near future, Hamed Soltaninejad, the chief executive of IME, said on Monday.

"We are planning to start futures trading for bitumen. The move is aimed at cushioning the risk of investment for players in the bitumen market," Soltaninejad said during the Argus Iran Bitumen Conference in Tehran on Monday, SENA reported.

IME is following in the footsteps of Shanghai Futures Exchange that launched the world's first futures market for the road-paving material in 2013.

Bitumen trade is already underway in Iran. Last week, 57,000 tons of various types of bitumen were offered for export at IME.

A senior official told the same conference that Iran can double the production of liquefied petroleum gas following the openings in trade ties with the world after the January lifting of sanctions.

"Iran currently produces 8 million tons of liquefied petroleum gas per year, but the volume can double upon the completion of South Pars Gas Field phases," Safar-Ali Keramati, National Iranian Oil Company's deputy for international affairs, said.

"Iran did not lose its share in the global LPG market under international embargos, but sanctions removal is an opportunity to expand our foothold," he added.

LPG often refers to butane or propane or a mixture of both gases. It is second-best after natural gas delivered via trunklines in terms of efficiency and more eco-friendly compared to diesel or fuel oil.

Some 3 million tons of Iran's total LPG output are extracted from underground reservoirs and the rest is produced in refineries and petrochemical units.

Keramati also said at least 20 vessels are set to carry Iran's LPG to international markets in 2017.

The conference, held in Tehran on May 9-10 and sponsored by the UK-based media organization Argus Media, has gathered representatives of major international companies in the downstream sector from 65 countries, including the UK, Australia, India and Pakistan.

Argus is a leading global data provider to governments as well as international entities.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries switched to Argus as its energy price data provider as of the beginning of this year, dropping global pricing service Platts.

The International Energy Agency switched to price data from Argus in 2012 and governments changing to Argus' prices include Chile in 2014 and Ecuador, Colombia and Portugal in 2015.