The Rupee-Rial arrangement could be reviewed by India with Iran to bail out exporters because of the pressure of US sanctions that have made it difficult to conduct any trade with Islamic countries. In the years of 2011-2012, a rupee-rial mechanism was put in place where around 45% of India’s purchases of Iranian crude for items like rice, wheat and medicines that were not sanctioned by the UN.
The rupee rose to a three month high in trade today. This was due to the strong FII flows and increased dollar exporters. At this point of time, India imported more than two third of its oil requirement, and this was aided by a fall in crude prices easing dollar demand from exporters.
Forex dealers speculated that greenback’s weakness against some currencies overseas. There is also a bullish trend in the equity market as easing crude oil prices also helped the rupee’s upward movement. They also mentioned that the Reserve Bank of India was not intervening to contain the sharp rise in rupee in the stock market.
Iran exports could see a hike if the US and its allies go ahead with sanctions. It means that there is potential to put a lid on growth in India’s exports to Iran. India has a good trade deficit of over $ 8 billion with Iran thanks to the oil imports so exports will not face a lot of issues when it comes to rupee. Rice alone also accounts for over 1/3rd of India’s total exports to Iran in 2017-18 and the oil purchases of India from Iran is worth around $9 billion in 2017-18. According to commerce secretary Rita Teaotia, the US move is not likely to cause any major shift in India’s trade with Iran as we have shipped out goods to Islamic nations before as per the sanctions.
One of the major highlights of the rupee rising oil prices fell after US crude inventories swelled to their inventories. India is the largest importer of oil and imports 81 per cent after US and China.
The rupee closed went on a winning streak this year since February 2017 as the currency strengthened past the 71 mark and bond prices gained 8 points on Thursday. The rupee hit the three-month high and gained over 3.1% in seven sessions.
When the dollar weakens against some other currencies, it had a direct impact on foreign fund inflows which supported the rupee. The rupee went up by 76 paise and was at its highest since August 2018 at 70.69.
India Forex Advisors CEO Abhishek Goenka said, "The US dollar trading weak overseas has enhanced the strength in the local unit."
As the market fluctuates, we can wait and watch to see how the rupee performs and its direct impact on oil prices. Foreign investors have sold $7.58bn and $5.03bn in debt and equity markets respectively this year.
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