Iran expects record oil revenues thanks to higher prices
Iran expects to generate record revenues of 21.5 billion dollars from oil sales in the year to March 2001 thanks to higher prices, the governor of the central bank, Mohsen Nourbakhsh, said Tuesday.
"We earned $15.6 billion in oil sales between March 2000 and the end of October and, if the current trend in prices continues, our revenues will reach $21.5 billion " at the end of the fiscal year, Nourbakhsh told a press conference.
Of the total revenues, Nourbakhsh said $10 billion would be supplementary income generated from the higher prices.
The government originally forecast revenues of $11.8 billion for the current fiscal year, down from 13 billion the previous year.
Nourbakhsh said that, as a result of these revenues, Iran will post a record trade surplus of six billion dollars in the current fiscal year.
He also said that the economy will grow by "around 5 percent." President Mohammad Khatami is scheduled to present to parliament on Wednesday the government's proposed budget for the fiscal year ending in March 2001.
The government is basing it on an oil price of $20 per barrel, parliamentary officials said in Monday's press.
The government set a $14.80 price for the current year which was later pushed down a dollar by the previous conservative-dominated parliament when it approved the budget.
The move had been intended to avoid the shortfall of the previous two years, when a collapse on the oil market worldwide left Iran with a more than five billion dollar deficit.
Iran generates 85 percent of its foreign exchange earnings from the sale of oil.
It is the second largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, turning out 3.7 million barrels a day, of which it exports 2.4 million.—AFP.
©--Agence France Presse.
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)