MOSCOW: Russia started fuel exports to Iran by rail this year for the first time after traditional buyers shunned trade with Moscow, according to three industry sources and export data.
Russia and Iran, both under Western sanctions, are forging closer ties in order to support their economies and undermine Western sanctions which both Moscow and Tehran cast as unjustified.
Western sanctions on Russian oil products over what Moscow calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine have reshaped global fuel markets with tankers taking longer routes and suppliers choosing exotic destinations and ways of transportation.
Iran has been under Western sanctions for years with limited access to global markets.
The oil ministries of Russia and Iran did not reply to requests for comment.
Last autumn, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak announced the start of swap supplies of oil products with Iran, but actual shipments only started this year, Reuters sources said.
In February and March, Russia supplied up to 30,000 tonnes of gasoline and diesel to Iran, two sources familiar with the export data told Reuters.
A third source confirmed the trade but was not able to confirm the volumes.
All the volumes were supplied by rail from Russia via Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. One of the sources said that some gasoline cargoes were sent on from Iran to neighbouring states, including Iraq, by truck.
Iran is an oil producer and has its own refineries, but recently its consumption had exceeded domestic fuel production, especially in its northern provinces, a trader in the Central Asian oil products market said.
Russia had supplied small volumes of fuel to Iran by tanker via the Caspian Sea, as was the case in 2018, two traders familiar with the matter said.
Russian oil companies are currently interested in exporting diesel and gasoline to Iran by rail as exports by sea face high freight rates and a price cap imposed by the G7 countries.
However the rail exports face bottlenecks along the route, the sources said.
“We expect fuel supplies to Iran to rise this year, but we already see several issues with logistics due to rail congestion. That may keep exports from booming,” one of the sources familiar with supplies to Iran said.
PKR on track to become top-performing currency this month: Bloomberg
- Pakistani currency rose around 6% this month against dollar.
- Authorities curb leakages happening through illegal channels.
- Crackdown on illegal dollar traders helps local currency.
The Pakistani rupee is on track to become the top performer globally in September as the caretaker government continues its crackdown on illegal dollar trade, Bloomberg reported Thursday.
The local currency rose around 6% this month against the dollar — an amazing feat despite the Thai baht and South Korean won tumbling against the greenback.
Major currencies lost ground against the dollar on speculations that the US interest rates will stay elevated for longer.
The rupee increased 0.1% to 287.95 per dollar on Thursday, after sliding to a record low of about 307 this month. Pakistan’s currency market will remain closed for the Eid Miladun Nabi holiday on Friday.
“Many leakages were happening through illegal channels of hawala and hundi trade from the open market,” Khurram Schehzad, chief executive officer of Alpha Beta Core Solutions Pvt Ltd, told Bloomberg.
“When the dollar rate reverses everybody, the hoarders, the exporters who are holding their export proceeds, start selling their dollars,” Schehzad said.
The interim rulers have intensified efforts by launching a crackdown on people involved in the illegal dollar trade, allowing the currency to gain some lost ground.
The Federal Investigation Agency, Bloomberg reported, conducted raids across the country and security officials in plainclothes were deployed at money exchanges to monitor dollar sales as part of the crackdown.
Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar this week said the rupee’s gain is “fostering optimism for stability.”
For its part, the State Bank of Pakistan raised the capital requirements of smaller exchange companies and ordered large banks to open their own exchange companies to make the retail foreign exchange market more transparent and easier to monitor.
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inDrive now available in five more Pakistani cities
KARACHI: inDrive, a popular ride-hailing service in Pakistan, has now expanded its network to five more cities across Pakistan including Larkana, Kāmoke, Sheikhupura, Hafizabad, and Okara.
In a statement issued by the transport company, the inclusion of these cities reflects inDrive’s dedication to bringing innovative transportation options to both urban centres and suburban areas.
Speaking about the expansion, Senior Business Representative at inDrive Hasan Qureshi said: “We are excited to extend the convenience and reliability of inDrive to residents of Larkana, Kāmoke, Sheikhupura, Hafizabad, and Okara.”
“Our mission is to redefine transportation by providing safe, affordable, and accessible rides to everyone. With this expansion, we are not only enhancing the commuting experience but also contributing to the economic growth and empowerment of these communities.”
PR Manager Sidra Kiran said that their new service offers city residents the convenience of accessing transport from their homes, eliminating the need to search for it.
“Both drivers and passengers stand to gain significant benefits, including time-saving and the elimination of challenges associated with street hailing. This service addresses issues such as locating rides during odd hours like early mornings or late nights,” she stated.
She further added: “inDrive ride-hailing presents numerous benefits to drivers in small cities, including flexible opportunities, reduced unemployment, supplemental income, enhanced community connection, and positive contributions to the local economy.”
The launch of the company in these cities would benefit both riders and driver-partners.
inDrive further said that it remains committed to upholding the highest standards of safety, affordability, customer service, and technological innovation.
inDrive is Pakistan’s premier ride-hailing service and is revolutionising the way people travel. With a commitment to providing safe, affordable, and reliable transportation.
The company allowed riders to connect with nearby drivers with its app.
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