January 21, 2019 / 4:01 PM / a month ago

Iran fails to find any buyers for crude offered on exchange

LONDON, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Iran failed to find any buyers on Monday in its latest attempt to sell oil to private companies for export on the stock exchange, the ISNA news agency reported, in a setback to Tehran’s efforts to bypass U.S. sanctions.

Crude oil trade is state-controlled in Iran, but to try to work round U.S. sanctions, the government last year started to sell crude to private buyers through the stock exchange.

However, there were no buyers on Monday for the one million barrels it offered on the exchange at a starting price of $52 per barrel.

In October, before U.S. sanctions came into force, Iran sold 280,000 barrels at $74 apiece of the one million barrels it offered on the exchange. Two weeks later, it sold 700,000 barrels at $64 each.

Washington re-introduced sanctions on Iran’s oil exports on Nov. 4 after earlier in the year withdrawing from a 2015 multinational deal that had lifted sanctions in return for limits on Iran’s nuclear programme. (Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin; Editing by Mark Potter)

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