Single Fuel Price Possible

Single Fuel Price Possible

Subsidized gasoline may be halted during the coming year, enabling it to be offered at a unified price, said a member of parliament.

Announcing the possibility that gasoline prices could be unified at 10,000 rials ($0.37), Amir Abbas Soltani, member of the parliament energy committee, said in an interview with Mizan news agency that should prices not unified, the price for both subsidized and unsubsidized gasoline will increase by 1,000 rials ($0.03) per liter.

Price of subsidized gasoline, which is rationed, rose 75 percent from 4,000 rials ($0.16, using the central bank’s official exchange rate at the time) a liter to 7,000 rials ($0.28) in April, when state subsidies were cut. The price for gasoline sold outside the rationing system rose from 7,000 rials to 10,000 rials. Diesel and compressed natural gas prices also rose.

The rise in gasoline prices notwithstanding, automotive fuel in Iran remains among the cheapest in the world. According to a Bloomberg survey published Dec. 2, Iran ranks 5th in the world in terms of cheap gasoline prices.

Iran was set to become self-reliant in gasoline production and even start exports by the summer, but things have not gone according to plan due to a delay in construction of several refineries.

“At the current rate of consumption it is impossible for the country to become fully self-sufficient in gasoline production,” Soltani said, adding: “Fuel self-sufficiency remains a mere slogan.”

Next year’s budget (March 2015-2016), which was submitted to parliament on Sunday, has for the first time authorized private companies to import and sell gasoline. “The NIOC will continue to import petroleum products, and private companies can operate alongside the government,” Seyyed Mohsen Ghamsari, director of international affairs at the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) said at the weekend.


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