Iran’s exports of petrochemicals up
The total amount of Iran’s petrochemical exports during March 21 – April 20 increased by 18 percent compared to the same period last year, data released by Iranian Customs Administration showed.
The total weight of petrochemical exports during the period amounted to 2.3 million tons, showing an 18-percent increase, compared to the same period last year, the data showed, reported Tasnim News Agency.
During this period, 674,000 tons of gas condensates worth $348 million were exported, the Customs Office’s data showed.
In August, 2018, CEO of National Petrochemical Company (NPC) Reza Norouz-Zadeh said Iran’s petrochemical industry is “unsanctionable” and that the exports would continue on schedule, hinting at US sanctions against the country.
US President Donald Trump walked away from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers in May 2018 and reimposed sanctions on Iran.
Minister of Oil Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on May 1 that the US bid to cut Iran’s oil exports to zero is a “pious hope,” warning countries using oil as a weapon about repercussions of further volatility in the global market.
“As I have already said, the US wishes to cut Iran’s oil exports to zero but this is a pious hope. Any independent market expert knows that a surplus of capacities declared by certain countries is exaggeration and overstatement,” Zanganeh said.
He said that Iran held no grudge against any countries in the region but noted that two regional states overstate their production capacities to reassure the market that Iran’s output restraint would result in no supply cuts.
Iran boosting gas exports to Iraq
An Iranian official said the exports of natural gas to Iraq are growing steadily and are expected to hit 40 million cubic meters a day in summer.
Managing Director of the Iranian Gas Engineering and Development Company (IGEDC) Hassan Montazer Torbati told Tasnim News Agency that Iran’s gas exports to Iraq are constantly increasing and nearing a ceiling set on the contract between the two neighbors.
He noted that the exports will be rising as the hot season is looming with a surge in Iraq’s electricity consumption.
Baghdad and Basra are the main export destinations of Iranian natural gas, the official added.
Talking on a gas deal with Turkey, Montazer Torbati said Tehran and Ankara are planned to enter negotiations to extend the gas export contract during the last five years of the deal, adding that serious talks to renew the contract will kick off next year.
In June 2017, Iran started to export natural gas to Iraq after years of negotiations and settlement of financial problems.
Tehran and Baghdad had signed a deal on the exports of natural gas from the giant South Pars Gas Field in 2013.
Under the deal, the Iranian gas is delivered to Sadr, Baghdad and Mansouryah power plants in Iraq through a 270-kilometer pipeline.
Last month, Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity said the Arab country’s gas imports from Iran are planned to rise by 13 percent by January 2020.
Jahangiri hails reduction of Iran’s dependence on oil revenues
Iranian First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri stated on Tuesday that the country has taken a wide stride in reducing its dependence on crude revenues during the course of a years-long planning.
“Fortunately, as a result of efforts made in recent years, the extent of budget’s dependence on oil revenues has reduced so much,” Jahangiri said, addressing a meeting of the Supreme Council for Science, Research and Technology in Tehran on Tuesday, reported Fars News Agency.
He reminded that the government’s budget depended 80 percent to 90 percent on oil in the past, saying, the dependence has today “decreased to 30 percent.”
In relevant remarks last month, Iranian Industry Minister Reza Rahmani said that the government is resolved to set the stage for a major increase in the volume of non-oil exports in the current Iranian year (started March 21).
“One billion dollars of exports creates 50,000 jobs,” Rahmani said in a meeting in the Western province of Kermanshah, underlining the significance of facilitating exports. “Production prosperity and preserving production units play a great role in job creation and uprooting unemployment,” he added, calling on all the state-run organizations to cooperate for reaching the set exports targets.
Deputy minister: Construction of 4,000 housing units on agenda
Domestic Economy Desk
The Iranian government has placed construction of 400,000 housing units on its agenda as part of a nationwide scheme called the National Action Plan, said a roads and urban development deputy minister.
Maziar Hosseini, the deputy roads and urban development minister for housing and construction, said the Mehr Housing plan, one of the projects launched after Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution to provide affordable housing for working class, is required to be completed by August 22, 2019, IRNA wrote.
He noted that this has been stressed by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and all cabinet members.
Commenting on the National Action Plan, he said as part of the project, the share of each province has been determined based on its needs, and so far, preliminary stages for constructing 100,000 housing units have been gone through.
“In the field of housing construction, Iran is minimally dependent on other states. The housing sector can help boost employment in the country with minimum investment. By spending close to $6,000, one job opportunity can be created in the sector.”
Among the priorities of the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development is employing modern technologies in industrial construction of new housing units, he said.
“Iran is among top countries in terms of employing modern technologies in production of construction materials, including concrete. The country has achieved complete scientific and technological self-sufficiency in manufacturing high-tech concrete.”
Chabahar port exempted from US sanctions
US Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells announced the US approval of Kabul application for exempting Chabahar port from the US sanctions.
She made the remarks in a meeting with Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani on Monday, IRNA reported.
Rabbani, for his part, appreciated the US for continuing assistance to his country.
Referring to Afghanistan peace talks, he said that internal and regional consensus play significant role in achieving sustainable peace.
CBI governor urges operationalization of INSTEX
Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Abdolnasser Hemmati criticized European countries for repeating threadbare remarks over their promised trade mechanism for Iran, INSTEX, and their failure to make it operational.
In a Monday Instagram post, the CBI chief referred to the history of the establishment of the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) by European countries, noting that it has been some two months since Iran created the Special Trade and Finance Institute (STFI) which is a mirror company to INSTEX, reported Fars News Agency.
The easiest way to operationalize INSTEX and STFI is that European countries start oil imports or grant a letter of credit to European exporters to Iran, he highlighted.
If Europeans are concerned about the US reaction to EU states’ exports of goods to Iran, they can test their ability by exporting emergency supplies and medicine, he said, adding that the ball of implementing INSTEX is now in Europe’s court.
Russia-Iran trade increases from January to March
Trade between Russia and Iran amounted to about $542.9 million in the first three months of 2019, showing a 13.3-percent increase on a year-on-year basis, the Russian Federal Customs Service said.
Russia’s exports to Iran rose by 32.2 percent to $393.7 million, while Russia’s imports from Iran dropped by 17.7 percent to $149.2 million, Sputnik reported on Tuesday.
In turn, trade between Russia and Turkey decreased by 13.7 percent over the same period on a year-on-year basis, amounting to $6.1 billion, according to the Russian Customs Service.
Russian exports to Turkey diminished by 17 percent to $5.03 billion, while imports from Turkey grew by 6.2 percent to $1.06 billion.
Turkey’s share in the Russian foreign trade decreased year-on-year from 4.5 percent to 3.9 percent.
Iran exported 1.43 million tons of non-oil commodities worth $86.3 million to Bangladesh during the year to March 20, IRNA reported.