The US-supported oil embargo imposed on Iran by the World Trade Organization has sparked a $4.2 billion price hike in U.S. crude and oil imports, a sharp reversal of a year ago.
U.S.-led sanctions targeting Tehran’s central bank and its central bank subsidiary have led to a nearly 5 percent surge in oil imports since last month.
The U.N. oil agency’s latest weekly report on Tuesday showed imports of crude from Iran increased 5.7 percent on the week ended March 9, the steepest rise since November.
U.K. crude imports increased 8.5 percent in March to $1.8 billion, the biggest gain since October.
The OPEC-dominated Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said it expects oil prices to rise 1.5 to 2.5 cents per barrel in the third quarter.
The U.R. sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic last month and last month’s sanctions by other countries including China and Russia have led Iran to import more crude and increase the price of oil by $2.6 billion a day.
President Donald Trump said last month that the sanctions would be lifted if Iran met the terms of the accord, but he has since backed off that timetable and said the U.P.O. is still on track to complete the accord in time.
The World Trade Organisation, which includes all the world’s economies, has imposed a $1-per-barrier oil embargo on Iran since June, with the U,K.
and Russia still trying to complete a deal.
The ban is a key issue in the negotiations for the landmark accord to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
Iran’s Central Bank said it will sell crude at $6.30 a barrel to U. S. shale producers to help offset the $3.7 billion price increase in imports.
Iran has been trying to sell more than 10 billion barrels of crude in the first three months of the year, more than any other country, according to data from IHS Global Insight.
But the government has been unable to sell enough to meet its needs and has struggled to control inflation.