Iran decorative stone export in rise, China remains top destination
Baku, Azerbaijan, July 23
Iran exported $341 million worth of decorative stones in the last fiscal year, ended March 20, according to a report by the country’s Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade.
The figure indicates a rise by 24.45 percent compared to the preceding year (March 2016-2017), when the exports accounted to $274 million.
Iran’s decorative stone export was in rise in recent years. Last year exports has registered a 94 percent increase in a five year period.
The export stood at $176 million in the fiscal year of 2012-2013, 10.9 percent more year-on-year.
According to the report, Iran is among top six countries in the world in terms of decorative stone production, meanwhile it takes place among top 20 exporters.
There are 1,900 decorative stone mines in the country, of them 1,200 mines are active.
China is the top destination of the Islamic Republic’s decorative stone exports, with a share of about 50 percent.
Iran exported $170 million worth of decorative stones to China in the last fiscal year, followed by Iraq ($73 million), Turkey ($17 million), India ($11 million) and Turkmenistan ($11 million).
Iran’s share from the global trade of the decorative stones stood at only 23 percent in 2017. The overall global turnover was $17.1 billion.
The US was top importer of the decorative stones in 2017 with $3.2 billion worth of imported stones or 18.7 percent share of global turnover.
China stood at the next place with a share of 15.7 percent or $2.7 billion of imports.
According to the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade, Iran holds about 5 billion tons of ornamental stone reserves and produces close to 14 million tons per year.
Most of Iran’s decorative stones are said to be unmatched worldwide in terms of color diversity and quality. However, domestic stone producers’ shortage of liquidity and modern manufacturing technologies has impeded the industry’s path to growth.
Iranian government banned decorative stone exports in 2006 to put an end to sales of unprocessed minerals. This dealt a serious blow to the sector’s standing in international markets. Although the measure was eventually revoked, experts believe the sector has yet to regain the markets it lost.