EghtesadOnline: More than 61.36 million tons of commodities were loaded and unloaded in Iran’s 21 commercial ports during the first five months of the current Iranian year (March 21-Aug. 22) to register a 2.36% rise compared with the corresponding period of last year.
According to the latest figures published on the Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran’s website, non-oil goods accounted for over 43.19 million tons of the total throughput, showing a 6% year-on-year rise.
The remaining 18.16 million tons pertained to oil products, indicating a 5.37% decline YOY.
Container loading and unloading decreased by 48.1% to stand at 563,248 TEUs, Financial Tribune reported.
More than 30.88 million tons of commodities were exported from the ports under review and over 13.73 million tons were imported, showing a 4.29% and 15.18% growth respectively compared with the similar period of last year.
A total of 2.19 million tons of goods were transited through these ports during the same period to register a 37.44% decline YOY.
The 21 ports under study include Iran’s southern ports of Abadan, Imam Khomeini, Bushehr, Khorramshahr, Genaveh, Bandar Lengeh, Chavibdeh, Arvandkenar, Charak and Dayyer located on the shores of the Persian Gulf, Shahid Rajaee, Shahid Bahonar, Qeshm and Tiab at the mouth of the Strait of Hormuz, Jask and Chabahar on the coasts of the Sea of Oman and the northern ports of Fereydounkenar, Noshahr, Astara, Amirabad and Anzali on the shoreline of Caspian Sea.
More than 31.78 million tons of commodities were loaded and unloaded in Hormozgan Province’s Shahid Rajaee Port, registering a 4.25% rise year-on-year.
Shahid Rajaee was the busiest port during the period. Non-oil goods accounted for around 21.09 million tons and oil products for over 10.68 million tons of the total, showing a 4.12% and 4.49% growth respectively YOY.
Located 23 kilometers west of the port city of Bandar Abbas, the capital of Hormozgan Province, Shahid Rajaee is Iran’s biggest container port and conducts over half of Iran’s commercial trading.
The port complex also accounts for over 85% of all container throughput in the country.
According to Mohammad Reza Rezaei-Kouchi, the head of Majlis Development Commission, Shahid Rajaee Port has a 6% share in the region’s total container throughput per annum, ILNA reported.
Imam Khomeini Port in the southern Khuzestan Province was the second busiest port during the five months under review, handling more than 18.68 million tons of commodities. The figure shows a 6.33% increase YOY.
Non-oil goods accounted for more than 12.89 million tons and oil products for over 5.78 million tons of the total throughput at Imam Khomeini Port, registering a 21.21% growth and a 16.5% fall respectively YOY.
The third busiest was Qeshm Port, which is also located in southern Iran. More than 3.04 million tons of goods were loaded and unloaded there, indicating a 19.17% increase compared with the similar period of last year.
Non-oil goods accounted for over 2.98 tons and oil products for around 63,340 tons of the total throughput in Qeshm Port, showing an 18.46% and 60.88% growth respectively YOY.
A total of 5.04 million passengers were transported to and from the aforementioned ports, registering a 31.85% plunge compared with last year’s similar period.
Shahid Rajaee to Host Biggest Mineral Terminal in Region
The Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran is scheduled to sign an agreement with the private sector within the next few days for the construction of Iran's biggest mechanized mineral terminal in Shahid Rajaee Port.
According to Ali Hassanzadeh, the deputy head of PMO, the final capacity of the terminal will reach 50 million tons per year. The project will be carried out in three phases, covering 180 hectares of land, each with 60 hectares.
“This will be the biggest mineral terminal in the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman. It will bring about a major development in Iran's mining industry, considering the country’s exceptional mineral capacity,” Hassanzadeh was quoted as saying by the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development's news service.
He explained that mines across the country will be directly connected to the terminal through railroad and the terminal will be used both for exports and imports.
Noting that the terminal will be used for exporting mineral products, the official said it will help reduce the end prices of exported commodities and improve Iran's competitiveness in foreign markets.
The terminal will also be used for the import of minerals with higher value-added. These products will in turn be used in domestic market, or reexported to other countries, Hassanzadeh added.
In May 2018, Life Trade Promotion Company signed an agreement with Sistan-Baluchestan Ports and Maritime Organization to establish Iran’s first fully mechanized mineral export terminal in Chabahar’s Shahid Beheshti Port.
The terminal, with a mineral export capacity of 15 million tons per year, is to come on stream in two years and cost 2.8 trillion rials ($24.66 million).
According to LTP's Managing Director Mohammad Arazesh, the new “smart” terminal would be able to accommodate 100,000-ton cargo ships and vessels.
Iran is home to nearly 10,000 mines, only 6,000 of which are active. The country’s mineral reserves stand at 60 billion tons, close to 40 billion tons of which are proven.
The country is also 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.
Iran accounts for more than 7% of global mineral reserves.
According to Deputy Industries Minister Khodadad Gharibpour, the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization is pursuing plans to expand mineral explorations to cover 300,000 square kilometers by the end of the second term of President Hassan Rouhani (August 2021).
IMIDRO carried out exploration over 270,000 square kilometers during President Hassan Rouhani's first term in office (August 2013-17).
According to Gharibpour, who doubles as president of IMIDRO, half of Iran’s 600,000-square kilometers of exploratory area has been explored for mineral reserves to date.
According to Deputy Industries Minister Jafar Sarqeini, 460 million tons of minerals were produced in the last Iranian year (ended March 20, 2019).
The current fiscal year's target is at 550 million tons.
Sarqeini has stressed the need to explore and discover new reserves. “Considering the current state of proven mineral reserves, Iran’s mineral reserves will only last until the fiscal 2030-31,” he said.