News & Reports News Year 2010 November , 2010 Iran's gasoline demand falls, oil exports to China rise

Iran's gasoline demand falls, oil exports to China rise

Iran's gasoline demand is falling while its exports to China are rising, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said Thursday. The statistics are raising questions about whether a new round of international sanctions is significantly hurting the country's oil markets.
In its monthly report, OPEC pointed a ""strong decrease in gasoline demand exceeding 18%"" year-on-year and a drop of 3.3% year to date. In a recent state-media interview, Alireza Zeighami, managing director of the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Co., said the decline in consumption was tied to gasoline rationing and its increased replacement by compressed natural gas.

The OPEC report said China crude imports from Iran had jumped by 30% to 597,800 barrels a day in September. The country's oil exports to Japan also jumped 17% year-on-year to 367,000 barrels a day in September, making it the third-largest supplier of the Asian nation.

The demand helped boost Iranian heavy crude prices by 7.4% in October, slightly outpacing a 7% average rise in OPEC oils.
LONDON (Dow Jones)