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Iran should stop exporting large amounts of raw petrochemicals and look for ways to make more profit by selling added-value products, according to the leader of the parliamentary Petrochemical Committee, Moayyed Hosseini Sadr.

Quoted by the Pana News Agency, Moayyed Hosseini explained that every year Iran exported about 40 million tons of raw or semi-raw petrochemical products. He added that the country's petrochemical facilities will have to be expanded, upgraded and modernized in order to be able to produce more profitable petrochemicals.

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Moayyed Hosseini presented a five-year development plan which predicted a hike in petrochemical capacity to 100 million tons annually, up on the current capacity of about 60 million tons. Iran expects to export 17.4 million tons of petrochemicals for a total value of about $13 billion by the end of the Iranian calendar year on March 20, 2014. So far, since the beginning of this calendar year (March 21), the country has shipped abroad petrochemicals, polymer products, liquid gas and gas condensates worth $8.2 billion.

Over the previous calendar year, Iran exported 14.4 million tons of petrochemical products worth $10.1 billion, which was one-third higher in both volume and value compared to the year before that. According to Moayyed Hosseini, under the development plan Iran will strive to export petrochemicals worth $40 billion per year in the near future.