Petroleum dealers have flagged a surge in the smuggling of Iranian fuel to Pakistan, saying that up to 35% of diesel sold in Pakistan has arrived illegally from Iran, the Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association (PPDA) said on Tuesday. The association said that in the past, the smuggling of fuel was limited to Balochistan, but that it has now spread to the rest of the country. In April, the Ministry of Energy had asked security forces to clamp down on fuel smuggling from Iran, according to an official memo seen by Reuters. The memo said diesel sales have slumped “more than 40%” due to smuggled products. Pakistan mostly meets its demand for fuel from the Middle East, but it is also smuggled in through its western border with Iran. The Petroleum Division was not immediately available for comment. Pakistan is facing an acute balance of payment crisis with barely enough foreign exchange reserves to cover a month’s imports, and is undertaking several measures, including raising fuel prices, to unlock a $1.1 billion tranche of aid from the International Monetary Fund. Fuel prices have jumped 143 rupees ($0.5046), or nearly 100%, in the last 12 months. Inflation stands at a record high of 36.4% for April, significantly diminishing purchasing power for individuals and companies. Pakistan’s oil product sales have dropped 46% to 8.8 million barrels in April compared to last year. A breakdown shows diesel sales have slumped 50% year on year. This excludes smuggled fuel. According to an S&P Global Commodity Insights report, Iranian fuel is around 53 rupees cheaper than the official retail price per litre. “Private dealers have been able to make decent profits by selling Iranian diesel rupees 35 ($0.1235)/litre cheaper than local dealers,” it added.