Iran is a very rich country in terms of natural resources. These unique and invaluable resources are world-renowned and are a tremendous competitive advantage for Iran. Various stone quarries are also one of these natural resources that are exported to other countries along with oil and valuable plants such as pistachios and saffron and have made a part of the country’s non-oil revenues dependent on them.
The abundance of these quarries in the country is so high that the stone market in Iran is completely saturated and this is the main reason for exporting the surplus of these products to other countries.
Due to this abundance and the creation of a very high color diversity in rocks, Iran is one of the hubs of stone exports in the Middle East and despite the existing political and economic problems, it still has a percentage of stone exports to neighboring countries and even further afield.
As we mentioned, the variety of colors and materials of stones in our country is very high and stones can have 30 different colors. Therefore, building stones that are used for decoration and facade of buildings are more popular in other countries. Marble, travertine, marble and porcelain are some of the most popular building stones in Iran.
Decorative precious stones such as turquoise and industrial stones such as iron ore and salt stone are also among the stones exported from Iran to other countries.
Iran exports stones to almost all neighboring countries and even exchanges stones with allied and friendly countries. Oman, Qatar, Turkey, India, Russia and China are some of the countries that are Iran’s export destinations. European, American and Oceanic countries such as Italy, Canada and Australia also import stones from Iran.
Oman is one of Iran’s neighbors that has a water border with our country through the Oman Sea. It borders Yemen to the south and the UAE and Saudi Arabia to the west.
This kingdom has a medium production and supplies many of its needed items through imports, and the very high income of this country and its low potential in the production of raw materials make Oman a very suitable place for exporting all kinds of Iranian stones. Stone, cast iron and iron are among the most popular exports of Iran to Oman.
Qatar is another of our neighbors, which has a water border with Iran through the Oman Sea, and its northernmost city is only 185 km away from the port of Deir. Qatar has many oil and non-oil exchanges with Iran and is a very good destination for stone exports. In particular, the disruption of Qatar’s economic relations with Saudi Arabia and the UAE has allowed Iran to play a more prominent role in exports to the country. Stone, cast iron, iron and steel products, as well as gypsum and cement are the main export products of Iran to Qatar.
Turkey, Iran’s western and semi-European neighbor, is another destination for our stone exchanges, which has created a very good market for the country’s non-oil trade. The increase in construction in Turkey and the increasing attention to the construction industry has led to the export of Iranian marble, granite and travertine more and more to this country.
India is another destination for the export of Iranian stones and goods. Iran-India exchanges are possible through the Pakistan border. Until 2018, the share of Iran’s exports to India was about 3%, part of which was dedicated to the export of ornamental and building stones.
This amount fluctuates due to political tensions, but India is still one of your great destinations for Iranian exports.
China also has many non-oil exchanges with Iran, one of the most important of which is receiving iron ore and salt ore. Iran sells better and cheaper iron ore to China than other countries with iron ore mines, however, political tensions and the existence of some customs issues have reduced the volume of Iranian ore exchanges with China.
Iraq is one of the neighbors that has a high desire and potential for non-oil exchanges with Iran. Almost all of our industries are traded with Iraq, and Iranian building blocks are in high demand in Iraq. Stones such as marble and marble are the most popular stones in Iraq.
Russia is also one of the buyers of Iranian products and resources, and some of our products in this country have competitive advantages. Industry-related goods and resources, such as various types of stones, are in the category of Iranian competitive products, which has provided a large market for our quality stones.
Georgia itself has very rich mineral resources and apparently does not need Iranian stones. But the weakness of technology and financial resources in identifying, extracting and cutting stones has made it one of the importers of building stones from Iran.
Although the share of Iran’s exports to other countries is about 3% of the total import capacity of the destination countries, but studies have shown that Iran ranks eighth in the world in terms of stone exports. Germany, Austria, Italy and Macedonia are among the European importers of granite, marble, unworked travertine and cut stones.
Our country has about 10,000 quarries of non-ferrous metals, stones and industrial soils, of which about 1,900 quarries are dedicated to decorative stones. The total capacity of Iran’s mines is estimated at 47 billion tons, of which 4 billion tons belong to the production of various rocks.
The volume of exports of various types of stones in Iran this year is about 7 million tons, of which 6 million tons are related to processed stones and another 1 million tons are related to raw stone blocks and cob.
As we have mentioned many times, one of the biggest problems in selling stone to other countries is the political tensions with Iran. Banking and exchange sanctions have reduced the willingness of other countries to trade with Iran, and this has also affected stone exchanges.
On the other hand, the imposition of 25% tariffs by the Iranian government on exporters has greatly reduced the willingness of domestic producers to send stone and sell products in other countries.
Poor marketing and lack of use of up-to-date knowledge in some exchanges can also face more restrictions on the limited Iranian stone market in other countries, which the attention of stone producers can have a significant impact on increasing the share of foreign sales.