Iran’s Economic Coordination Council has forecast a 60% fall in oil exports in the Iranian year beginning in March 2019.

The Council projects sales at one million barrels per day, compared to about 2.5 million bpd in spring 2018.

Even before the US imposed comprehensive sanctions on the energy sector on November 5, Iran’s exports were dropping as customers prepared for the restrictions. Further falls have been buffered by American waivers for eight countries, including Tehran’s top buyers, but they only run to March.

Further trouble for the Government is forecast by reports that it is now expecting a price well below the $75 per barrel set for its 2019-2020 budget, a rise from the $55 baseline used this year. Fars, linked to the Revolutionary Guards, says the Government is now anticipating $60 per barrel.

The price for Brent crude is currently $62.33.

After its Saturday meeting, the Economic Coordination Council called for a reduction in the share of oil revenues in the budget and for import of essential commodities with subsidized US dollars to ease inflation.

Having been pulled into single digits by the Rouhani Government from more than 40% in 2013, the inflation rate has resurged to 37%.

The Council also called for the Government to “provide essential commodities for the people at a subsidized rate, support production, boost employment, extend financial support to workers and pensioners, and complete abandoned development projects with the participation of the people and private sector”.

The Government must submit its draft budget to Parliament by December 6.