Petchem output, export rise despite sanctions

November 20, 2020 - 14:29

TEHRAN - Secretary-General of Iran's Association of Petrochemical Industry Corporation (APIC) said the country’s petrochemical production and exports have increased in the first six months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20-September 21) despite the limitations caused by the pandemic and the U.S. sanctions.

Ahmad Mahdavi Abhari noted that the country's petrochemical production in the first half of this year has increased by at least five million tons compared to the same period last year.

"We expect the figure to increase by eight million tons by the end of the current year,” he said.

Mentioning the decline in the price of petrochemical products during the first two months of the current year (March 20-May 20) due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, the official noted that despite the decline in the prices the sales of Iranian products did not fall.

“Many of Iran's petrochemical products have been pre-sold, and for some products, if someone wants to make a purchase, they must wait in line for at least three months, because some products have been pre-sold for the next three months,” he said.

According to Abhari, in addition to increasing exports, the supply of petrochemical products to the domestic market for use in downstream industries has also increased.

He further said that many of the country’s petrochemical complexes now produce more than their nominal capacity, adding that in the first six months of this year, the supply of petrochemicals on the commodity exchange increased by 30 percent compared to the same period last year.

Stating that Iran is currently one of the largest exporters of petrochemical products in the world, Abhari said: "Petrochemical industry is the most valuable industry in the country during the sanctions period and this industry has injected the most export revenues into the Nima system."

Back in September, Jalal Mir-Hashemi, the National Petrochemical Company (NPC)’s director for the production control, had said that the country’s petrochemical production increased six percent during the first five months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20-August 21), compared to the same period of time in the past year.

Mir-Hashemi put the five-month petchem output at 25 million tons and highlighted that the petrochemical plants operated with a good capacity during this period.

The petrochemical industry is playing a crucial role in Iran's non-oil economy, so that based on the official data, petrochemical exports constitute the second-largest hard currency earner in Iran after crude oil. Petrochemical exports already make up nearly 33 percent of the country’s non-oil exports.

EF/MA

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