Baku, Azerbaijan, May 23
By Fatih Karimov - Trend:
Iraqis have promised to remove ban on import of Iranian cement, Abdolreza Sheikhan, secretary of Iran's Cement Industry Employers Association said.
Following several meetings between Iranian and Iraqi officials, Baghdad promised to give priority to Iranian exports, once general ban on cement import is removed, Sheikhan said, Fars news agency reported.
He further said that Iraq has banned cement import due to security problems in the country and oil price fall, adding Iraq's cement demand currently is met by its domestic production.
Sheikhan earlier said that Iran's cement and clinker exports witnessed a 20 percent fall in last fiscal year (ended March 20) and stood at 15 million tons.
Earlier Iraq's market was sharing 60 percent of Iran's cement export, Sheikhan said, adding last year Baghdad increased custom tariff for each ton of Iran's cement from four to $13.
Iran currently exports cement to some 24 countries including Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Pakistan, Qatar, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Georgia, Oman, India, and China.
Last year, Sheikhan warned that Iran is gradually losing its domestic and foreign cement markets.
"Cement supply and demand is not balanced in the market and this has created problems for producers," he said.