EghtesadOnline: A new report released by the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization shows mineral products (excluding oil and its byproducts) accounted for more than one-fifth of Iran's total non-oil exports in the last fiscal year (March 2019-20).
A total of 58.67 million tons of mineral products worth $8.5 billion were exported from Iran during the period, accounting for 43.78% and 20.57% of total exports in terms of tonnage and value.
The report also shows imports of mineral products stood at 3.67 million tons worth $3.2 billion during the same period, accounting for 10.39% and 7.33% of the country’s total imports in terms of tonnage and value, respectively.
Iran's mineral trade stood at 62.4 million tons worth $11.7 billion to account for 36.92% and 13.77% of the country’s overall trade in terms of tonnage and value respectively.
Exports in Detail
Steel topped the list of mineral exports in terms of value with $4.5 billion. It was followed by copper with $1.24 billion and iron ore, concentrate and pellet with $788.35 million.
In terms of tonnage, cement had the lion’s share with 17.53 million tons, followed by iron ore, concentrate and pellet with 12.84 million tons.
Steel products ranked third with 11.68 million tons, followed by stones with 6.23 million tons.
According to the IMIDRO data, antimony exports observed the biggest jump in terms of value (657% year-on-year) to reach $13.49 million, followed by alumina powder with $387,367 (up 144% YOY), mica with $63,054 (up 56% YOY), copper and downstream products with $1.24 billion (up 35% YOY) and lead products with $33 million (up 18% YOY).
The sharpest fall in export value was recorded for precious metals such as gold and silver (down 54% YOY to reach $71,357), titanium (down 53% YOY to reach $180,602) and nickel (down 43% YOY to reach $15,265).
In terms of tonnage, antimony again registered the biggest growth (661% YOY) to reach 7,057 tons, followed by mica (up 257% YOY to reach 296.63 tons), alumina powder (up 52% YOY to reach 334.66 tons), cement (up 28% YOY to reach 17.53 million tons) and steel (up 24% YOY to reach 11.68 million tons).
Precious metals and stones had the sharpest decline in tonnage with 16.53 tons (down 64% YOY); nickel with 7.37 tons (down 48% YOY); clay, bricks, ceramics and tiles with 49,937 tons (down 42% YOY); and aluminum with 60,610 tons (down 34% YOY).
Imports in Detail
IMIDRO’s data show steel also topped the list of mineral imports in terms of value with $986.37 million.
It was followed by ferroalloys with $364.1 million. Aluminum as well as coal and coke came next with $280.47 million and $273 million respectively.
In terms of tonnage, coal and coke topped the list with 975,484 tons, followed by steel with 764,651 tons, aluminum powder with 356,022 tons and ferroalloys with 264,932 tons.
The value of antimony imports saw the biggest jump (127% YOY) to reach $6.05 million. It was followed by iron ore, concentrate and pellet with $2,185 (up 64% YOY), ferroalloys with $364.1 million (up 56% YOY), chromium with $10.72 million (up 52% YOY) and nickel with $36 million (up 46% YOY).
The sharpest fall in import value was recorded for lead (down 69% YOY to reach $13.39 million), which was followed by molybdenum (down 67% YOY to reach $371,601), precious metals and stones (down 51% YOY to reach $727,000), steel (down 23% YOY to reach $986.37 million) and alumina powder (down 5% YOY to reach $167 million).
In terms of tonnage, the import of antimony saw the highest jump of 130% YOY to stand at 600 tons, followed by chromium (up 115% YOY to 6,204 tons), coal and coke (up 48% YOY to 975,484 tons) and ferroalloys (up 47% YOY to reach 264,932 tons).
Molybdenum had the sharpest decrease in terms of tonnage (down 92% YOY to 6.3 tons), followed by iron ore, concentrate and pellet (down 70% YOY to 0.3 ton), lead (down 68% YOY to 4,888 tons), precious metals and stones (down 66% YOY to 0.8 ton) and steel (down 42% YOY to 764,651 tons).
Iran’s mineral reserves currently stand at 50 billion tons. New explorations are expected to increase the figure by 20% to 60 billion tons by the end of the current year (March 2021), according to deputy minister of industries, mining and trade, Daryoush Esmaeili.
Some 410 million tons of minerals were extracted from Iranian mines last year (ended March 19, 2020), the official was quoted as saying by IRIB News.
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 is home to 68 types of minerals.
IMIDRO Chairman Khodadad Gharibpour noted that Iran has the largest area under mineral exploration in the Middle East.
“About 65% of Iran’s total explorable mineral areas [1 million kilometers] belong to the organization,” he said.
IMIDRO’s exploration manager, Ali Asgharzadeh, said the highest volume of explorations in Iran pertains to copper, iron ore and coal.
Gharibpour said most mining explorations in Iran have been carried out at shallow depths, while deeper excavation would lead to a twofold increase in the discovery of mineral reserves.
According to the Persian economic daily Donya-e-Eqtesad, Iran is home to nearly 10,000 mines, only 6,000 of which are active.