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Petrochemicals account for over 30% of Iran’s exports

Iran’s sales of petrochemicals amounted to some $16 billion in the calendar year to late March.

Petrochemicals accounted for over 30% of Iran’s non-oil exports in the calendar year to late March, according to a senior industry figure who says overseas sales could further increase with more government support and better pricing mechanisms for feedstock.

Ahmad Mahdavi, who serves as secretary of Iran’s Association of Petrochemical Industry Employers, said on Sunday that exports from the sector had amounted to $16 billion in the year to March 20, 2023 during which total Iranian non-oil exports had reached some $53 billion.

Mahdavi said the share of petrochemicals in Iran’s non-oil exports could be as much as 45% considering the raw material supplied from the sector to other manufacturers in Iran.

Mahdavi said petrochemical companies had supplied some $14 billion worth of their exports proceeds to a government-run system known as NIMA where importers can obtain hard currency at prices lower than the free market.

He said exports proceeds supplied to NIMA by Iranian petrochemical exporters in the five months to late August this year had reached $3.772 billion.

The Iranian businessman, who is also a former parliament lawmaker, said petrochemicals exports figures from the country do not include sales to foreign customers carried out in the Iran Mercantile Exchange.

He said, however, that a new government decision to correct pricing formula for feedstock delivered to petrochemical companies, including for natural gas and oil, would help increase exports from the sector.

The Iranian finance ministry announced earlier this week that it would restore prices of petrochemical feedstock to a formula used in 2015.

That comes as prices had increased in 2021 following the rising of international gas prices because of the war in Ukraine.

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