EghtesadOnline: A total of 17 million tons of iron ore were exported from Iran in the last fiscal year (March 2018-19), figures released by the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization show.
Iron ore in the form of fines/lumps had the lion’s share from exports with 8.84 million tons, followed by iron ore concentrate with 5.52 million tons and iron ore pellet with 2.78 million tons.
IMIDRO data show exports of iron ore concentrate, iron ore fines/lumps and iron ore pellet earned $380.95 million, $258.75 million and $201.92 million respectively, meaning $840 million were exported from the country during the month.
Iron ore exports stood at 1.29 million tons during the first month of the current Iranian year (March 21-April 20). Iron ore fines/lumps, pellets and concentrates constituted 0.45 million, 0.31 million and 0.54 million tons respectively in total exports during the period under review, Financial Tribune reported.
Iron ore exports earned $81.39 million, up 128% year-on-year.
The tonnage of shipments during the month showed a 56% growth.
Notably, Iran was the sixth largest supplier of iron ore to China by shipping about 22 million tons to the world’s largest importer of iron ore in 2017.
Top ore exporters to China in 2017 were Australia, Brazil, South Africa, India, Ukraine and Iran respectively, according to Chinese customs statistics shared with Financial Tribune by senior market analyst, Keyvan Jafari Tehrani.
Shipments to China make up about 91% of Iranian iron ore exports. Accounting for nearly 70% of the world’s seaborne ore trade, China imported 1.07 billion tons of iron ore in 2017, up 8% YOY, SteelMint reported.
What spurred iron ore demand is the industrial goliath’s crackdown on pollution, as the government mandated steelmakers to use higher-grade ores to curb pollution, buoying imports from high-content ore producers.
The exports came as a host of negative factors such as India’s plan to boost shipments, Iran’s high finished prices and the Iranian government’s plan to slap tariffs on iron ore exports threatened the sector’s foothold in China.
A new iron ore deposit was discovered in Iran's Yazd Province in 2017, which is estimated to be about 2 billion tons with 70% iron content, according to the head of Yazd Industries, Mining and Trade Organization.
“This mine is globally and nationally unique in terms of reserves and content, and will be a significant boon to provincial industries and the country as a whole,” Mohammad Reza Alamdar-Yazdi was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.
He noted that the reserves were discovered at a depth of 1,500 kilometers.
Iran accounts for about 3% of global iron ore reserves estimated at 4.5 billion tons with over 200 ore deposits.
According to the United States Geological Survey, Iran holds the world's 10th largest iron ore reserves.