Increased lead exports in the first month of the current fiscal year (started March 21) over fluctuations in foreign currency market were a boon to producers but caused a shortage for local downstream industries such as battery producers, the head of Iran Society of Battery and Storage said.
“In recent weeks, the lead inventories of battery producers have all but depleted and they are now facing a serious lack of raw materials,” Kazem Mortaz was also quoted as saying by IRNA.
Each car battery needs an average of 12 kilograms of lead, which amounts to 144,000 tons per year, considering the country’s 12 million annual battery demand.
According to the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration data, Iran exported 729 tons of lead during March 21-April 11, which indicates a significant growth, as producers exported 1,044 tons during the last fiscal year (March 2017-18).
The 22-day period was the height of Iran’s currency crisis and prior to a government intervention in the market, which saw the rial drop to unprecedented lows against the US dollar. For lead producers, this was the best time to look overseas.
The rial lost 19.7% of its value against USD during the period to drop to 58,650. And this is while it had lost upwards of 30% against the greenback the year before.