A senior official at Iran’s National Petrochemical Company (NPC) says exports of petrochemicals were responsible for a fourth of all non-crude shipments exported from the country in the year to late March.
Hassan Abbaszadeh, who leads planning and development operations at the NPC, said on Thursday that the share of petrochemicals from Iran’s non-oil exports had risen slightly to reach 25.2% over the last calendar year.
Abbaszadeh said petrochemicals shipments had generated over $9 billion in revenues for Iran over the period, short of an annual target of 12 billion which he said was mainly because of depressed international prices caused by the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
The official said petrochemicals have continued to be a major source of earning hard currency for the Iranian government at a time it is grappling with lower crude sales because of US sanctions.
NPC estimates suggest increased demand for Iranian petrochemicals, especially in the Asian markets, could boost revenues in the calendar year to March 2022 to nearly $14 billion.
Abbaszadeh said figures published by the Iranian customs office about trade in the five months to late August show that the NPC and its subsidiary plants could easily hit the $14-billion target in overseas sales.
He said Iran's petchem exports could further increase in the years to come to account for 35% of a non-crude exports target of $70 billion set for 2025.
The Iranian Oil Ministry which controls the NPC estimates the worth of products manufactured in the petrochemicals sector can reach $30 billion per year by 2026 when output is expected to hit a target of 133 million metric tons per year.