China Accounting for Half of Petrochemical Exports

China Accounting for Half of Petrochemical ExportsChina Accounting for Half of Petrochemical Exports

Iran has made up for the petrochemical market loss in South Korea and Japan by raising its exports to the largest customer of Iranian petrochemicals, China.

“Currently, half of Iranian petrochemical products is exported to China. However, the share of South Korea and Japan in Iran’s exports has declined nearly to zero,” Fariborz Karimaei, the deputy head of the Association of Petrochemical Industry Corporation, was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.

Karimaei added that Japan and South Korea accommodated 21% of Iran’s petrochemical exports on average in the five-year period since 2006, the share of which reduced to 12.8% in 2011-15 and subsequently plunged to 0.5% in the last Iranian year that ended on March 19, 2016.

“During the period [which lasted about 10 years], China’s imports from Iran improved considerably, reaching 19%-20% of Iranian petrochemical exports in the first [five-year] period and 39% in the second,” Karimaei said.

Last year, China imported 57% (in terms of value) of Iranian petrochemical exports.

Due to international restrictions against Iran and the tightening of sanctions in 2011 and 2012, Iran conceded some ground in the Middle East petrochemical market over the past 10 years, including in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey.

Its market share was reduced from about 28% in value in the first five-year period to 18% in the second.

Karimaei added that Middle East nations imported 23% of Iran's total outbound petrochemical supplies last year.

“India has also boosted its imports from Iran in the past 10 years, but not on a par with China.”

India’s share of Iranian petrochemical exports reached 11% in 2011-15, indicating a 2% rise compared with 2006-10.

  Africa's Untapped Market

Karimaei said Iran had not "worked well" on Africa’s market initially, but later increased exports to the continent.

“In the first period, less than 1% of Iranian petrochemical exports headed to Africa, which witnessed a rise of 6.5% in the second five-year, and 8.5% last year.

The push to raise exports to the African countries is a proper decision, as it is a large market with developing countries and a huge demand,” Karimaei said.

The APIC official also said that over the past three years, the Persian Gulf country’s production and export of petrochemical products have been on the rise in spite of constraints caused by sanctions.

The country’s annual output of petrochemical and polymer products stood at 40.5 million tons, 44.5 million tons and 46.5 million tons from 2013 to 2015, respectively. The volume is expected to exceed 50 million tons in the current year.

“Petrochemical exports rose 3 million tons last year to reach 18.8 million tons,” Karimaei noted.

According to the official, while Europe accounted for about 11% of Iranian exports in the first period before the imposition of sanctions, its share dropped to 1.8% in the second period and shrank to a record low of 0.5% last year.