USA exempts India-backed port in Iran from sanctions

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

Futures in NY plunged as much as 1.6 percent on bearish US inventory data Wednesday after earlier rising on a report that OPEC and its allies are considering fresh production cuts.

Futures in NY fell as much as 0.9 percent and headed for an 8.5 percent drop in eight straight sessions.

Earlier, South Korean Ambassador to Tehran Ryu Jeong-hyun said that despite many European companies leaving Iran under the pressure of US sanctions, South Korean firms understand the significance of the Iranian market and have chosen to stay.

Oil rose as OPEC and its allies were said to plan talks on fresh production cuts next year, responding to recent increases in crude inventories amid surging USA supply. Each of those countries has already demonstrated significant reductions of the purchase of Iranian crude over the past six months, and indeed two of those eight have already completely ended imports of Iranian crude and will not resume as long as the sanctions regime remains in place.

The United States would be better off rethinking its "unconditional support" for Saudi Arabia and Israel, which has "blinded the U.S. to their appalling atrocities", Zarif said.

West Texas Intermediate crude for December delivery fell by 95 cents to $61.26 a barrel at 10:59 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Total volume traded was nearly double the 100-day average.

Brent futures for January settlement climbed 76 cents to US$72.89 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, after falling 1.4 per cent on Tuesday.

In the US, the government is estimating the biggest yearly increase in domestic crude production.

At the same time, industry data was said to show that nationwide oil inventories rose by 7.83 million barrels last week, while a median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of analysts expected a 2-million-barrel increase ahead of government data Wednesday. It sees the Chabahar port as a key way of both sending supplies to Afghanistan and stepping up trade with Central Asia and Africa.

Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation are being forced to reduce production after their plan on reversing cuts backfired, Iran's representative to OPEC said, pegging the potential cut at more than 1 million barrels a day.

"President (Donald) Trump's predecessors also began crafting their Iran policy with similar bravado but came around to accepting and respecting the reality of Iran as they became more experienced in office", he added. All comments are subject to editorial review.

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