nCa Analysis by Elvira Kadyrova
While the White House assesses the effectiveness of the maximum pressure plan on Tehran and even prepares a summit on the Middle East in the anti-Iranian vein in Warsaw, Iran’s economic activity proceeds at quite moderate pace. At least, Iranian news media in their reports say the situation is not as disappointing as it might seem at first blush.
Japan, one of the four largest importers of Iranian oil, resumed buying oil from Iran after the exemption of U.S. sanctions against Iran, Reuters reported.
The Japanese crude carrier VLCC Kisogawais expected to deliver 2 million barrels of crude oil to Japan in early February.
Other buyers of Iranian oil, China and Indiadid not stop imports even with the imposition of second wave of US sanctions last November, and South Korea resumed imports last weekend.
Iran intends to continue to explore its Caspian oil resources with or without foreign companies.
“Better results could be expected if foreign companies joined the oil and gas projects in the Caspian Sea region, but we would not wait for them and continue executing projects by relying on domestic capabilities,” Shana quoted Ali Osuli, CEO of exploration and mining company Khazar (KEPCO).
After launching JCPOA, KEPCO signed a number of MoUswith foreign companies on joint exploration operations at Caspian field. Among these companies, the Russian LUKOIL, the Norwegian Offshore Resource Group, Azerbaijan’s SOCAR.
Iranian researchers have invented new technologies for processing of lead and zinc ores, reported IrTag with reference to head of the Union of exporters of lead and zinc industries and mines of Iran Hassan Hosseingholi.
Industrialists of Iran have recently designed and innovated a new way to process and condense the low-grade ores in the country’s lead and zinc mines, he said.
The innovative technology, the first in the world of its kind, is based on pyrometallurgical methods and allows to process 4%-grade lead and zinc ores with recovery efficiency 80-95%.
The invention was patented and its industrial prototype installation worth of 30 billion rials (or aroundUS $ 7 million) has been already built.
In terms of zinc production, Iran ranks 11th in the world and 4th in Asia.
Iranian mineral sector showed the growth of exports of precious stones and metals by 25% over the last three quarters of the Iranian calendar year (from 21 March to 21 December 2018).
According to the customs administration of Iran, the country exported US $ 100 million worth of precious metals during this period. The lion’s share of imports falls on turquoise and agate.
Research center of Iranian Parliament suggests the allocation to the population of monthly cash subsidies of 480,000 rials (about US $11.4) for the purchase of 24 liters gasoline, says Tehran Times.
This measure, according to parliamentarians, could protect poor citizens from price hikes if gasoline would be sold at market prices.
The budget for the next Iranian year does not provide for an increase in fuel tariffs. Nevertheless, legislators believe that such a plan could also be implemented in the context of combating smuggling and improving the equitable distribution of gasoline among Iranians and their purchasing power in the future. /// nCa, 23 January 2019