Iran dismisses news on halting cement exports to Iraq

Azerbaijan, Baku, Jun.17/ Trend R.Zamanov

Iraq has not stopped importing Iranian cement, deputy head of the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran, Reza Tofiqi, said on Monday.

Iran exported $560 million worth of cement to Iraq in the previous year, which ended March 21, the IRNA News Agency quoted Tofiqi as saying.

"The two country's bilateral trade value stood at around $6.35 billion in the previous year," he said, adding that cement was the main exported item.

It is while Deputy Head of Khuzestan's Cement Exporters Union said on June 10 that following Turkmenistan, Iraq will stop importing Iranian cements from July 1.

The move supposedly aims at boosting Iraq's domestic cement production, the ISNA News Agency quoted Sadeq Sava'edi as saying.

"Exporting Iranian cement to Iraq would only be possible through Iraqi Kursdistan's Parviz-Khan border," he added.

He further said that political and security issues were also influential in the decision.

Iran currently exports 20 to 30 thousand tons of cement per day to Iraq, he said, adding that a halt in exports would finally result in decrease of production.

Iraq with 63 percent is Iran's biggest cement importer. Azerbaijan (14 percent) and Turkmenistan (7 percent) follow on 2nd and 3rd places respectively.

Mohammad Fatemian, an official with the Industry, Mine, and Trade ministry said on June 9 that Iran plans to export 18.5 million tons of cement in the current Iranian calendar year, which ended March 20, 2014.

Iran's cement and clinker exports stood at over 13.648 million tons in the previous calendar year, which ended March 20.

The country exported over 11.85 million tons of cement and 1.79 million tons of clinker in the mentioned period.

Iran exported cement to 24 countries including Iraq, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Pakistan, Qatar, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Georgia, Oman, India, and China in the past Iranian year.

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