EghtesadOnline: Iran exported more than 15.32 million tons of mineral products worth over $2.83 billion during the first quarter of the current fiscal year (March 21-June 21), down 12% in tonnage and up 16% in value compared with the last fiscal year's corresponding period.
Imports stood at 1.09 billion tons worth $871 million, dropping 28% in tonnage and 18% in value year-on-year, according to the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization's latest report, which draws on the Islamic Republic of Iran's Customs Administration data.
The country recorded $1.9 billion in mineral trade surplus for the period under review.
Semi-finished and finished steel products took the lion’s share of exports in terms of value, as 2.97 million tons worth $1.34 billion were shipped overseas, up 30% and 63% YOY in volume and value respectively, Financial Tribune reported.
Copper was Iran's second biggest exported mineral product value-wise with 2.97 million tons worth $391.4 million. The volume and value of shipments grew 30% and 63% respectively YOY.
Cement came third with 4.4 million tons worth $159.3 million, remaining unchanged in volume and dropping 1% in value YOY. It was followed by iron ore with 3.3 million tons valued at $132.4 million, down 19% in volume and 40% in value.
Other exported mineral commodities from Iran during the period included zinc with 47,110 tons worth $109.8 million, stones with 1.58 million tons worth $84.6 million, aluminum with 39,564 tons worth $76.1 million, lead with 34,543 tons worth $45.7 million, direct-reduced iron with 186,360 tons worth $38.9 million and coal with 229,291 tons worth $28.8 million, as well as other minerals amounting to 2.2 million tons worth $379.5 million.
Ferroalloy with 13,251 tons worth $21.5 million, chrome with 81,727 tons worth $13.7 million, molybdenum with 972 tons worth $10.6 million, pottery and bricks with 24,219 tons worth $3.3 million, alumina powder with 600 tons worth $100,000 were other noteworthy minerals.
As for imports, steel had the largest share among Iran's mineral imports in terms of value, as 403,054 tons worth $356.8 million were imported, down 51% and 37% in tonnage and value respectively YOY.
The category of "other mineral products" were the second biggest mineral product imported to Iran in Q1 with 232,528 tons worth $165.6 million, down 12% in volume and 10% in value YOY.
Coal came next with 171,072 tons worth $55 million, up 139% and 165% YOY in terms of volume and value.
Other imported commodities included alumina powder with 101,977 tons worth $54.4 million, ferroalloys with 39,880 tons worth $50.9 million, aluminum with 29,319 tons worth $49.5 million, titanium with 12,346 tons worth $37.2 million, pottery and bricks with 7,341 tons worth $31.2 million, zinc with 62,655 tons worth $18.7 million, lead with 4,547 tons worth $13.5 million, stones with 15,669 tons worth $12.9 million, cement with 12,786 tons worth $8.3 million and copper with 947 tons worth $7.3 million.
Nickel with 392 tons worth $6.6 million, chrome with 769 tons worth $1.5 million, precious metals with 2 tons worth $400,000, antimony with 36 tons worth $300,000, molybdenum with 4 tons worth $200,000, mica with 131 tons worth $200,000 and DRI with 50 tons worth $100,000 were other noteworthy imports.
Iran is home to 68 types of minerals with more than 37 billion tons of proven reserves and 57 billion tons of potential reserves.
According to the United States Geological Survey, Iran holds the world's largest zinc, ninth largest copper, 10th largest iron ore, fifth largest gypsum and barite and 10th largest uranium reserves. Overall, Iran is home to more than 7% of global mineral reserves.
IMIDRO concluded the last stage of its largest aerial geophysical survey operation in the western Kurdestan Province earlier this month.
The state-owned holding covered the western part of 1,481 square kilometers of area spanning Kurdestan's Qorveh County, according to IMIDRO's exploration manager, Ali Asgharzadeh.
"This area is rich with copper, gold, iron ore and antimony," he was quoted as saying by IMIDRO's public relations.
He noted that operations in the area's eastern part, spanning 2,557 square kilometers were finalized in the last fiscal year (March 21, 2017-18).
"The data gathered is currently being analyzed so that it can be used alongside other findings, including geological, geochemical, satellite and tectonic maps," the official said, adding that the final report will be ready by late December and exploration operations will commence accordingly.