Moscow began exporting petroleum products to Iran by rail for the first time earlier this year after its main buyers stopped importing Russian fuel following the invasion of Ukraine, Reuters reported Tuesday, citing three industry sources and export data.
Now both under strict Western sanctions, Russia and Iran have increasingly traded in trade to keep their embargoed economies afloat.
While Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak announced that Iran would start importing Russian oil in the fall, first deliveries only started early this year, Reuters reported.
In February and March, Moscow supplied up to 30,000 tonnes of petrol and diesel to Iran by rail via Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, Reuters said, citing two sources familiar with the export data.
A third source confirmed the delivery but was unable to confirm the volume of the sale.
One of the Reuters sources said some of the Russian gasoline deliveries were then sent from Iran by truck to neighboring states, including Iraq.
In the past, Moscow has supplied small volumes of fuel by tanker across the Caspian Sea to Iran, which, despite being an oil producer itself, has recently experienced fuel shortages, Reuters told Reuters. two traders familiar with the matter.
While the decision to deliver fuel by rail would be linked to high freight costs and an oil price cap imposed by G7 countries on exports by sea, rail exports come with their own problems.
“We expect Iran’s fuel supply to increase this year, but we are already seeing several logistical problems due to rail congestion. This could prevent exports from booming,” said one of the participants. sources at Reuters.