EghtesadOnline: Iran Mercantile Exchange plans to start bitumen exports to India as per an agreement reached between the two countries’ market regulatory organizations on Thursday.
The agreement was signed by Chairman of Securities and Exchange Organization of Iran Shapour Mohammadi and Chairman of Securities and Exchange Board of India Ajay Tyagi in India. When implemented, Indian traders can purchase Iranian bitumen by directly accessing IME, IRNA reported. India purchases close to half of Iran’s bitumen production, according to IME CEO Hamed Soltani-Nejad. This is while Iranian bitumen exporters have faced heat for the fluctuating quality of products and lack of a coherent pricing mechanism. The agreement can help manage both issues by removing middlemen and regulating quality. The IME chief said the agreement had been in the making since February and its delay was due to the banking system limitations and India’s insistence on using rupees in transactions, Financial Tribune reported. An estimated 1.2 million tons of bitumen are produced in Iran annually, according to deputy minister of roads and urban development, Kheirollah Khademi.