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Russia starts fuel exports to Iran by rail: sources

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MOSCOW: Russia started fuel exports to Iran by rail this year for the first time after traditional buyers shunned trade with Moscow, according to three industry sources and export data.

Russia and Iran, both under Western sanctions, are forging closer ties in order to support their economies and undermine Western sanctions which both Moscow and Tehran cast as unjustified.

Western sanctions on Russian oil products over what Moscow calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine have reshaped global fuel markets with tankers taking longer routes and suppliers choosing exotic destinations and ways of transportation.

Iran has been under Western sanctions for years with limited access to global markets.

The oil ministries of Russia and Iran did not reply to requests for comment.

Last autumn, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak announced the start of swap supplies of oil products with Iran, but actual shipments only started this year, Reuters sources said.

In February and March, Russia supplied up to 30,000 tonnes of gasoline and diesel to Iran, two sources familiar with the export data told Reuters.

A third source confirmed the trade but was not able to confirm the volumes.

All the volumes were supplied by rail from Russia via Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. One of the sources said that some gasoline cargoes were sent on from Iran to neighbouring states, including Iraq, by truck.

Iran is an oil producer and has its own refineries, but recently its consumption had exceeded domestic fuel production, especially in its northern provinces, a trader in the Central Asian oil products market said.

Russia had supplied small volumes of fuel to Iran by tanker via the Caspian Sea, as was the case in 2018, two traders familiar with the matter said.

Russian oil companies are currently interested in exporting diesel and gasoline to Iran by rail as exports by sea face high freight rates and a price cap imposed by the G7 countries.

However the rail exports face bottlenecks along the route, the sources said.

“We expect fuel supplies to Iran to rise this year, but we already see several issues with logistics due to rail congestion. That may keep exports from booming,” one of the sources familiar with supplies to Iran said.

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The KSE-100 Index rises following a sharp decline in the previous session.

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The government is considering filing a treason case under Article 6 against PTI founder Imran Khan, former president Arif Alvi, and former deputy speaker Qasim Suri. On Tuesday, the KSE-100 Index was up more than 1.3% during early trading, following a day of roughly a 2 percent loss due to growing political unrest and the potential banning of the party.

However, the benchmark index of the Pakistan Stock Exchange was trading at 79,074.63 by 11:49 a.m., having gained 535.45 points, or 0.68 percent, after reaching an intraday high of 79,578.04.

Market analysts said that political tensions were the primary cause of the KSE-100’s earlier Monday decline of 1578.71 points, or 1.97 percent.

They did point out, though, that a correction was a reasonable reaction to the protracted upswing that allowed the benchmark mark index to reach 81,839.86 on July 18.

As a result of interest rate cuts and the possibility of another IMF program, the Pakistan Stock Exchange has gained 22.97 percent so far this year. The cycle began on June 10 with a 1.5 percent decrease in borrowing costs.

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In interbank trade, the US dollar crushes the Pakistani rupee.

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During interbank trade on Tuesday, the US dollar’s value increased by 15 paisas, reaching Rs 278.45.

It is important to remember that Fitch Business Monitor International expressed concern about the possibility that Pakistan’s economic stability may be jeopardized by the ongoing political unrest.

The fragile situation of Pakistan’s economic recovery was emphasized by Fitch in its most recent Pakistan Country Risk Report, which also noted that economic activity has been impeded by urban protests.

(PTI),In spite of multiple successful judicial appeals, the founder of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) is expected to stay behind bars, the article notes, underscoring the fragile political environment.

With no urgent plans for new elections, this scenario suggests that the coalition administration will remain in office for the next 18 months.

Fitch also described an eventuality in which the government could change and be replaced by a technocratic administration. This suggests that the government of Pakistan would carry out the reforms demanded by the IMF, contributing to the 3.2% GDP growth expected in 2024–2025.

The policy rate has stabilized above projections, while the research predicted it may reach 16 percent this fiscal year and 14 percent the following year.

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Pakistan’s gold prices per kilogram dropped.

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When 24-karat gold dropped by Rs. 500 to Rs. 250,500 per tola on Tuesday, the price of gold fell once again on both the local and international gold markets.

By Rs429 to Rs214,763, 10 grams of gold cost less, according to the Gold Sellers Association.

Gold’s price per ounce dropped to $2391 on the international market by $11.

At Rs2920 per tola, the price of silver did not change.

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