Iran failed to find any buyers on Monday January 21st in its latest attempt to sell oil to private companies for export on the energy exchange, state media reported. Moving to private companies was designed as an effort by Tehran to circumvent US sanctions.
According to Reuters, all crude oil trade is state-controlled in Iran, but in an effort to work around US sanctions, the government last year started to sell crude to private buyers through the exchange. However, there were no buyers on Monday for the one million barrels the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) offered on the exchange at a starting price of $52 a barrel.
Washington re-imposed sanctions on Iran’s oil exports on November 4th after withdrawing from a 2015 nuclear deal over Tehran’s ballistic missile programme and malign behaviour.
This comes as the Iranian economy suffers from a depreciating currency that lost some 40% of its value and rising inflation. In recent months, Iran has experienced demonstrations in different cities as factory workers, teachers, truck drivers and farmers protested against economic hardship and corruption.