On 23 August, Iran’s Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Products Exporters’ Union announced that the Islamic Republic had restarted exports of gasoline and gasoil to Afghanistan following an official request by the Taliban.
“The Taliban sent messages to Iran saying ‘you can continue the exports of petroleum products’,” Iranian officials said, adding that some Iranian traders had been cautious due to security concerns.
Reports indicate that following the Taliban victory in Afghanistan’s 20-year war, fuel prices skyrocketed to $900 per ton.
To counter the spike, the Taliban asked Tehran to keep the borders open for traders.
The Iranian exports reportedly began a few days ago after the Taliban cut tariffs on imports of fuel from Iran up to 70 percent.
Iran exported about 400,000 tons of fuel to Afghanistan from May 2020 to May 2021, according to a report published by Iranian oil and gas research and consultancy platform, Petroview.
In addition, trade between the neighboring nations has slowly returned to normal levels, with a reported 1,300 trucks crossing the border per day by 21 August.
Following the recent unrest in Afghanistan, Iran’s exports to the country dropped sharply and Iranian exporters had begun looking for alternative markets.
Afghanistan accounted for 11 percent of Iran’s total non-oil exports in the first quarter of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21–June 21), during which Kabul imported 296,000 tons of food supplies worth $134 million from Iran.