Domestic Economy

Trade With Europe Picking Up

Trade With Europe Picking UpTrade With Europe Picking Up

Non-oil exports to the European Union (EU) exceeded $1.45 billion in the first ten months of the current Iranian year (ending March 20), showing a 34.39% increase compared to the similar period last year.  Meanwhile, more than $9 billion worth of goods were imported from the EU during the same period, indicating a 14.64% growth, Persian economic daily Ta'aadol reported.  

The report covers statistics published by the EU website to argue that although the economic sanctions against Iran have not yet been fully lifted, trade with Europe appears to be taking off.  

The European Union, once Iran’s top trading partner, now ranks after countries such as China, the UAE and Turkey in terms of trade with Iran, due to the sanctions.

The EU’s imports from Iran are mainly in the fields of energy, while most of its exports include machinery, transport equipment, and chemicals. Total EU imports from Iran fell 86% between 2012 and 2013, while exports to Iran declined by 26% during the same period. But this trend appears to be reversing.

  Export to EU

While Iran’s trade with the EU is insignificant compared to the total volume of Europe’s foreign trade, it accounts for 4.95 percent of Iran’s total exports, making the European bloc Iran’s second export destination after China.

Iran’s top export destinations in the EU include Italy, Germany, and Spain. In the first 10 months of the current year, exports to these countries stood at $393 million, $284 million, and $150 million, showing 198%, 11.56%, and 95.3% increase respectively compared to the similar period last year.

Ranked as the 11th global export destination for Iranian goods, Italy accounts for 1.34% of Iran’s total exports.

  Imports From EU

Imports from Europe account for 20.79% of Iran’s total imports. Germany, once the biggest global exporter to Iran, still tops the EU countries exporting to Iran, however it now comes after China, South Korea, and Turkey.

German goods are favored by Iranians. Iran imported more than $2 billion worth of goods from Germany in the first ten months of the current Iranian year, showing a 9.26% increase compared to the previous year. Imports from Germany currently account for 4.66% of Iran’s total imports.

Switzerland is the second biggest European exporter to Iran, with $1.46 billion worth of exports so far this year, indicating 14% growth compared to the similar period last year.

The Netherlands is third with exports valued at $887 million, showing a 16.3% increase; followed by Italy with $860 million exports, indicating a 30% increase.

  Trade Gap

While importing from Europe has advantages for Iran, including the high quality of products, Iran has often recorded a negative balance of trade with its European partners.

Iran has $46 million trade deficit with Italy and $237 million with Germany, according to the report, with Netherlands, Poland, and France the other European countries with which Iran has a negative balance of trade. Spain is among the few European countries with which Iran has a trade surplus.