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Iran’s metals exports to China surge by %150 y/y in March-October: Report

File photo shows iron pellets at a mill Sirjan, in the southern Iranian province of Kerman.


A new report shows that Iran’s export of various metals and mining products to China have significantly increased this year amid government efforts to broaden its access to new sources of hard currency at a time of increased American pressure on the oil industry.

Iran’s Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade (MIMT) said in a report published on Sunday that exports to China of major metals had reached a total of $1.568 billion in value terms between late March and late October this year, a surge of 150 percent compared to the same period in 2018.

It said the top items on the list of exports to China included iron ore and concentrates on $673 million, copper cathode on $408 million, steel ingot on $207 million, copper ore and concentrates on $127 million and zinc ingot on $57 million.

The report said that the total value of exports of metals and mining products from Iran to various countries in the seven-month period ending on October 22, 2019 had stood at $4.631 billion, an increase of 6.16 percent year-on-year.

Iraq trailed China in the list of Iran's major export destinations followed by Indonesia, Thailand and Turkey, said the MIMT, adding that countries like Afghanistan, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Pakistan and Ghana had imported more than $100 million worth of Iranian metals and mining products over the seven-month period.

The value of shipments to Indonesia and Pakistan saw significant increases of 135 and 396 percent, respectively, while Turkey imported 13 percent more metals from Iran over the period, said the report.

The data are the latest to come from a series of reports suggesting that Iran’s trade of metals is thriving despite a series of American sanctions that have specifically targeted the metals and mining sector since earlier this year.

The bans on Iran’s trade of metals were enacted in May, exactly a year after the United States withdrew from a major international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program and began imposing various economic sanctions on the country.

Experts believe the sanctions have largely failed to halt Iran’s lucrative business of metals as it has become increasingly difficult for the US to identify and target the shipments that are mostly exported via the third countries.

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