DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Iraq has emerged as Irans main export market for base oils as the weight of United States sanctions shut down the Islamic Republics traditional trade routes. Base oils are being trucked overland to neighboring Iraq, with unconfirmed reports saying they are re-exported as Iraqi-origin base stocks.
Iran exported around 28,000 metric tons of base oil to Iraq in March and almost 20,000 tons in April, the latest period for which figures are available, ICIS Senior Editor Izham Ahmad said at the ICIS Middle Eastern Base Oils & Lubricants Conference held here last month. In contrast, exports to the U.A.E. have all but ground to a halt, with other major markets – including India and Turkey – also experiencing dramatic declines in volumes. Irans base oils export volumes have plummeted because customers are wary of falling afoul of U.S. sanctions.
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