Iran exported 366,000 tons of gasoline from March 21-July 20, and earned $133 million, spokesman of the country’s customs organization told local media on Wednesday.

Ruhollah Latifi said that the biggest destination for Iran’s gasoline shipments was the United Arab Emirates that purchased 269,000 tons, followed by Afghanistan 59,000 and Iraq with 34,000 tons.

Despite cheap prices Iran is offering the exports seem quite modest due to sanctions by the United States, which create risk of secondary sanctions on buyers and payment difficulties. Iran’s refining capacity is also limited, and its extremely low domestic prices keep consumption high. Lately there has been talk in local media of Iran being forced to import gasoline.

Latifi said that Iran’s shipments were sold between 35-38 US cents per liter (around 94 cents per gallon), while bulk gasoline prices in the Persian Gulf are more than 70 cents per liter. Some observers in Iran have said that in fact gasoline is exported for 27 cents a liter, but Latifi disputed the claim.

Iran is also selling its crude oil at a discount to those willing to risk US sanctions. China is the biggest buyer and pays partly with goods instead of cash.

Latifi also said that the price does not include shipment cost and is a spot price as shipments leave customs. There is also gasoline smuggling from Iran due to low domestic prices but it is hard to quantify it.

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