24 July 2013 10:11 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Iran has restricted exports of linear alkyl benzene (LAB) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) to ensure supply to the domestic market, industry sources said on Wednesday.
With its imports of these materials falling following the sharp depreciation of the rial against the US dollar, Iran needs to ensure domestic production will meet growing domestic consumption, they said.
No official ban was implemented, but permission to export these materials is granted by the government on a case-by-case basis, Iranian industry sources said.
“There have been no exports of LAB and PVC from Iran in July, as demand in the Iranian market has been robust and imports have become unaffordable,” said a local trader said.
LAB and PVC consumption peaks in Iran during May to August.
The country has an installed LAB capacity of 130,000 tonnes/year, with current operating rates at 80-85%, while domestic consumption is around 100,000 tonnes/year, according to industry sources.
LAB is an intermediate in the production of surfactants and detergents.
“We have typically seen monthly imports of 5,000-8,000 tonnes from Iran in previous months, but in July there have no imports of Iranian cargoes,” said a Mumbai-based trader.
For PVC, Iran’s production is over 600,000 tonnes/year, while local consumption is close to 700,000 tonnes/year, market sources said.
PVC is a polymer used for producing pipes for water supply and sanitation purposes.
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