EghtesadOnline: Due to the rising cost of raw materials, prices of bitumen have gone so high that no one wants to buy it anymore.
The lower development budget has also led to a decline in bitumen consumption, which has led to the closure of bitumen production units, IRIB News reported.
This is while in the last fiscal year (ended March 20, 2019), Iran exported more than $1 billion worth of bitumen.
Qatar, South Korea, India, Malaysia, the UAE, Kenya, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Turkey, Oman, Iraq and Sri Lanka have until recently been the main customers of Iranian bitumen, Financial Tribune reported.
According to Managing Director of Pasargad Oil Company Masoud Jebraili, the export price of Iranian bitumen has become costlier than those offered by rival countries and the prospects of bitumen exports in the current Iranian month (July 23-Aug. 22) are dim.
According to Managing Director of Dejpa Bitumen Company Vahid Sheikhi, there are 357 licensed bitumen producers in Iran, only 10% of which have been operating in recent months due to aforementioned challenges.
A majority of Iran's bitumen exports are undertaken from the southern Iranian province of Hormozgan, which accounts for more than 55% of Iran’s bitumen production.
Hormozgan, where Shahid Rajaee Port is located, has an important role in Iran’s foreign trade. The province has 32 active ports, including Shahid Bahonar, Jask, Lengeh, Tiab, Aftab and Kish.
Located 23 kilometers west of the port city of Bandar Abbas, the capital of Hormozgan Province, Shahid Rajaee is Iran’s biggest container port at the mouth of the Strait of Hormuz.
Over half of Iran’s commercial trading is carried out through Shahid Rajaee. The port complex also accounts for over 85% of all container throughput in the country.