EghtesadOnline: Qeshm Cement Company has readied a 40,000-ton batch of clinker for export to India, announced Hormoz Amiri, an official with Qeshm Free Zone Organization.
“Qeshm Cement Company’s clinker shipment, worth about $900,000, is currently being loaded on to Kavo Platanos at Kaveh wharf,” Amiri was quoted by the organization’s public relations as saying on Monday.
“The loading takes up to four days and the ship will leave for India’s Haldia Port [in West Bengal] on Friday.”
The official said this is the company’s fourth shipment abroad this fiscal year (March 2017-18), during which QCC shipped 150,000 tons of cement and its primary raw material, clinker, to Kuwait, Mozambique and Pakistan, according to Financial Tribune.
Amiri noted that Qeshm Free Zone plans to export 200,000 tons of cement and clinker valued at $4.5 million to Africa by the end of the current fiscal year.
The Iranian cement industry boasts an output capacity of about 90 million tons, only 56% of which are consumed in the local market and the rest is left unused.
Exports stand at a maximum of 7-8 million tons per year and in the best-case scenario at 10 million tons this year, according to Cement Employers Association’s member of board of directors, Morteza Lotfi.
Focusing on exports is the only way out of the stagnated local market for cement producers. Their traditional export destinations, namely Iraq and Afghanistan, however, have banned Iranian producers from their markets to support their local production from foreign competition.
This has prompted exporters to look for alternative markets as far as Africa, which in turn means shouldering the heavy burden of high transportation costs.
The government agreed a year and a half ago to help with transportation costs by allocating 10 trillion rials (263 million) in subsidies to exporters.
According to the head of Iran Trade Promotion Organization, Mojtaba Khosrotaj, cement exporters started receiving the subsidies (about $3 for each ton of shipment) as of mid-October.