Iran offers to deepen freight discount to boost oil sales to India

NEW DELHI: Iran has offered to raise the freight discount on oil sales to India in return for New Delhi agreeing to boost imports, as the OPEC member is keen to eat into the market share of other producers including top rivals Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

Iran is pushing to retain customers for its oil in Asia, hoping concessions will boost the appeal of its crude compared with other Middle Eastern suppliers, even as the threat looms of potential further U.S. sanctions on the country.

Since the lifting of sanctions on Iran in 2016, it has been offering India a freight discount linked to a formula translating into 105 percent of the Platts assessment.

For 2017/18 Tehran had reduced the discount to 62 percent of the formula from 80 percent, but Iran has offered to change this if Indian refineries step up purchases, three sources familiar with the matter said on Saturday.

“Now they are offering 100 percent discount, meaning a sum equivalent to 105 percent of the Platts freight assessment,” said one of the sources.

Iran said it expected Indian orders to grow.

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