Petrochem Footprint in Non-Oil Exports

Petrochem Footprint in Non-Oil ExportsPetrochem Footprint in Non-Oil Exports

First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri said petrochemicals account for one of the main non-oil exports, underlining the need to remove hurdles on the road to expand exports.

Jahangiri made the statement at a session of Resistance Economy Headquarters—a top government body that administers and oversees the implementation of a set of guidelines proposed by the Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei on boosting domestic production and improving productivity, IRNA reported.

He called on the Economy Ministry to develop a roadmap to boost non-oil exports, especially in the petrochemical sector, which is the country's second-largest industry after oil and gas.

Ahmad Mahdavi, the head of Iran's Association of Petrochemical Industry Corporation (APIC), recently said Iran is planning to raise the share of petrochemical products in its non-oil exports to 35%.

"The share of petrochemical products in non-oil exports reached 33% from 28%" in the previous Iranian year that ended on March 19, the official said.

Iran's nominal petrochemical production capacity is close to 60 million tons a year, with annual output at 40.5 million tons, 44.5 million tons and 45.6 million tons over the past three years. The volume is expected to reach 50 million tons this year.

Iran also plans to double its output capacity by 2020 to 120 million tons a year and to 180 million tons per annum in a decade.

The country was freed from most international restrictions in January that had largely shut it out of the global trade, financial and banking system and limited foreign investment in its key economic projects, including petrochemical plants.

Jahangiri unveiled a non-oil exports stimulus package in May aimed at reducing dependence on crude oil exports and gradually moving away from the so-called "single product economy" that for all practical purposes is unsustainable as demonstrated  by the steep decline international crude prices in the past two years.

Business leaders say banking restrictions, especially money transfers to and from Iran, are the main constraints that continue to undermine foreign trade and the import of machinery and equipment.