1138 GMT February 22, 2020
The cement industry witnessed a decline in performance as the industrial material's output during March 21-August 22 dropped 2.6 percent year-on-year, Trend News Agency reported.
Iran's cement output reached 23.62 million tons during the five-month period, compared to 24.25 million tons for the same period last year.
However, on a monthly basis, 4.9 million tons of cement were produced during July 23-Aug. 22, 2017, which was 9.9 percent more than the figure for the preceding month.
Iran's cement production capacity soared from 29.5 million tons in 2001 to 83 million tons in 2017. The number of cement producing factories also increased from 30 to 74 in the same time span.
The cement industry has over the past several years seen fluctuations, soaring at times and spiraling downwards at others. While the Islamic Republic was boosting its cement production capacity, establishing more factories, the market both within the country and overseas was facing stagnation.
Iran's cement production in 2015 shrank by one percent to 58.6 million tons, following a 33-percent fall in 2014, which was blamed on low domestic consumption.
Iran's cement production over the past years has faced various challenges, including deep recession in construction activities as well as an inadequate provision of natural gas to industrial users.
In the meantime, due to global slump in oil prices and regional issues, Iran's cement export to neighboring countries has witnessed a considerable decline as well.
While the country ranked first in the Middle East and fourth in the world in terms of cement production in 2014 with an output of 75 million tons, its global ranking fell to sixth in 2016. Iran also lost its 2014 position as the second cement exporter in the world. The Islamic Republic was the third cement exporter in the world in 2016 and is predicted to stand eighth among top cement exporters in 2018.
Iran produced 54.1 million tons of cement in the year to March 20, which was 6.6-percent less year-on-year.
Amid these conditions, the Iranian administration plans to increase annual cement output capacity to 120 million tons by 2025.