Figures by the Iranian government show demand for gasoline in the country rose by 20% this summer amid warnings by authorities that rising domestic demand could affect Iran’s fuel exports at a time the country faces foreign sanctions.
An official in the Iranian Oil Ministry’s fuel department (NIORDC) said on Wednesday that the demand for gasoline in Iran had reached a record daily average of 105 million liters over July-September.
Peyman Jazayeri said that demand for diesel fuel in Iran had also increased by 9% year on year over the three months to late September to reach an average of 106 million liters per day.
The figures come amid statements by government authorities suggesting that Iran might be forced to resume gasoline imports more than a decade after it reached self-sufficiency in the production of the fuel.
Iran introduced massive plans since early last decade to ramp up gasoline production at its old or new refineries after the United States imposed sanctions on sales of gasoline to the country.
Gasoline demand in Iran dropped to all-time lows of less than 75 million liters per day in 2019 when the government announced fuel price hikes.
However, current price of gasoline in Iran is around a tenth of prices charged in neighboring countries, causing a major surge in fuel smuggling activities across the borders.
That comes as the government has indicated it has no plans to increase fuel prices although it has lowered the amount of monthly fuel quotas assigned to motorists in the country.