Week in Brief 24.05.2019

Due to weather forecasts for heavy rain during this week, three dams around Tehran were partially emptied. Tehran Water Company CEO, Hassan Razavi, says that the dams, Taleghan and Mamlou, have been completely full, and to avoid overflowing water the three major dams, Karaj Dam, Latian Dam and Mamlou have been partially emptied.

Although weather forecasts give a 50-percent chance for heavy rains, Tehran Water Company says that this action has been necessary to avoid any disaster.

Currently the inflow at Latian Dam is 35 cubic-meter per second, while outflow is about 40 cubic-meter per second. And for Karaj Dam the inflow is 30 m3/sec while outflow is 35 m3/sec. Mr Razavi says that the total capacity of dams near Tehran is more than one billion cubic-meters and even if the rain predictions do not realize this week, all these dams will be filled until the end of June.

The Institute of Standards and Industrial Research of Iran has published a report in which it says that the high margin of errors in Iranian products makes consumers to pay for goods which do not exist.

In its report includes various examples; for instance, while refueling cars, many people complain that due to low-quality of pumps, a lot of “air” is sold with “gasoline” and this volume is anyway calculated in the price. Or old electricity or water meters measure consumption which has not been realized.

In the food industry this imprecision is vastly seen as well. According to this report, milk consumption per capita in Iran is 90 Kg. Since for each one-liter bottle there is a 0.3% error, in total this amount reaches 216 million kilogram per year; about 8,640 billion Rials (66.5 million USD at market exchange rate). For sugar, the volume of erred goods reaches about 2 billion kilograms.

The main reason for this margin of error is out-of-date or imprecise measuring systems and weakness in packaging industry.

One of the methods that United Nations Conference on Trade and Development categorizes the countries is based on how much they are dependent on the sales of raw material. If the sale of raw material makes more than 60 per cent of the total export of a country, it is defined to be raw-material-sale dependent. So is Iran.

The latest report of UNCTAD says that although Iran has lowered the sale of its raw material compared to two decades ago, it still is greatly dependent on it.

In 2017, 75 per cent of the total Iranian export was raw materials, while in 1995 this figure was 87 per cent. Main costumers for Iranian commodities have been India, China and Japan.

Clearly crude oil makes the majority of the Iranian export while Iranian petrochemical products are also very little elaborated and are considered as upstream products.