Economy, Business And Markets

Mining Best Performing Sector Last Iranian Year

Mining Best Performing Sector Last Iranian Year  Mining Best Performing Sector Last Iranian Year

Official data show that the mining sector with 9.8% growth was the best performing sector last Iranian year (ended March 20).

Data provided by the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade indicates that the industry and mining sectors together accounted for 1.2% of the 3% economic growth last year, IRNA reported.

About 23.8 million tons of minerals were exported last year, down from the previous year by 25% in terms of volume and 23.8% in value. The decline in exports is believed to have been due to a sharp decline in global iron ore prices.

Meanwhile, $338.9 worth of iron ore pellets were imported, registering a staggering growth of 671.9% compared to the previous year when only $43.9 million worth of the raw material had been imported. The growth in pellet imports shows on the one hand, the tendency to produce more steel while on the other, ringing alarm bells for the steel sector.

Top industrial officials have stressed time and again that the country will soon be self-sufficient in producing the raw material required for steel production. They even claim that export of unprocessed iron ore will soon be stopped as there are many projects underway to develop the downstream steel industries. This is while the country still faces shortage of at least 7 million tons of iron ore pellets annually.

The report went on to say that 47,300 tons of alumina was exported last year, indicating a 196.7% increase compared the previous year’s exports. Meanwhile, 125,000 tons of aluminum ingots were exported – 37.9% down from the previous year.

Cement exports also fell 11% from the previous year to 14.7 million tons. However, crude steel exports grew by 266.5% to more than 983,000 tons. Steel products also experienced a growth in export to 1.95 million tons, up 34.7% from the previous year.

The copper industry also contributed to growth in the industry and mining sectors. Based on the report, over 46,500 tons of copper cathodes were exported last year, showing 148.8% growth compared to the earlier year. Coal concentrate exports, however, declined by 48.6% to slightly more than 144,000 tons.

  Major Imports

The report lists major imported minerals during the past Iranian year. Some $141 million worth of crude steel was imported, indicating 71.1% decline compared to the previous year. Meanwhile $2.26 billion worth of steel products, including steel sections was imported, showing a 26% growth compared to the preceding year. Growth in steel products import was recorded despite the administration’s decision to impose higher import tariffs on a wide range of steel products including steel sheets, reinforcing bars and I-beams.