Economy, Business And Markets

Iran 3rd Biggest Global Stone Producer

Iran 3rd Biggest Global Stone ProducerIran 3rd Biggest Global Stone Producer

Iran is the world’s third biggest manufacturer of decorative and construction stones after China and India, but ranks as the 12th global exporter, said the vice chairman of Iran Stone Association, Malek Rahmati.

“Iran’s average annual production of decorative stones stood at 15 million tons between 2011 and 2014, while exports accounted for only 4-5% of production,” IRNA quoted the official as saying.

China is the major buyer of Iran’s unprocessed stone, accounting for 85% of exports. Italy and Turkey are other major importers of raw stone.

Iraq is the main destination for processed decorative stones from Iran, with 36% of these stones ending up in the Iraqi market. Turkey, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and the EU countries are other major buyers of Iranian processed decorative stones.

Iran has an estimated 8-billion-ton reserve of decorative and construction stones, including 2.3 billion tons of proven reserves and the remaining in probable reserves, said the official, adding that decorative stone mines constitute 1,900 of the 7,800 active mines in the country.

Rahmati went on to say that the government seeks to increase private sector participation in mining projects, noting that 90% of stone mines are currently owned by the private sector.

He warned against the negative impact of excessive imports on the domestic stone sector and said 20 million tons of decorative stone were imported last Iranian year (ended March 20) from Italy, China and Turkey.

“Despite being the third biggest producer of decorative stones in the world and the top producer in the region, Iran has not yet been able to gain a reasonable share of the international market,” said Rahmati, observing that China currently accounts for more than $6 billion worth of global exports in the sector.

The 7th International Exhibition of Decorative Stones, Mines, Related Machinery and Equipment is scheduled to be held on July 20-23 in Tehran. The event will be attended by 91 Iranian and 24 companies from Italy, Germany, China, Spain, South Korea, Greece, Russia, Turkey, India, England and Bulgaria.