Trade Surplus Continues Albeit With Deceleration
Domestic Economy

Trade Surplus Continues Albeit With Deceleration

Foreign trade data released by Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration for the first four months of the current Iranian year (March 21-July 22) indicate that the country maintained a positive balance in non-oil trade during the period, while both imports and exports declined compared with the similar period of last year.
About $27.83 billion worth of non-oil trade was recorded during the period, with 32.4 million tons of exports (including gas condensates and petrochemicals but excluding oil and gas) valued at $14.01 billion and 11.3 million tons of imports worth $13.8 billion, IRICA’s public relations office reported.
While data indicates a trade surplus of $328 million, the volume of export and import dropped considerably by 15.20% and 20.18% respectively compared with the similar period last year.
Trade surplus has been shrinking over the past months. IRICA had earlier announced a trade surplus of $2.2 billion for the first two months of the current Iranian year, while $520 million trade surplus was recorded during the year’s first quarter.
IRICA blames a 39.4% decline in gas condensate export over the similar period last year as the main reason for the reduction in export.

> Exports, Destinations

Major exports during the period included liquefied petroleum gases and hydrocarbons, valued at $675 million (6.25%), liquefied propane worth $540 million (4.99%) and bitumen worth $480 million (4.44%).
China remained the leading export destination, importing 7.9 million tons of Iranian goods valued at $2.5 billion. Iraq came next with $1.9 billion worth of imports, up by 4% compared with the similar period last year.
The United Arab Emirates was the third major buyer of Iranian goods during the period, importing $1.6 billion worth of commodities, showing an increase of 34% in import value compared with the similar period of last year. India's imports grew by 33% from last year to $913 million to place the country as the fourth major export destination. Afghanistan followed with $811 million.

> Imports, Origins

The five main commodities imported during the period included: corn for cattle feed ($430 million), rice ($302 million), soybean meal ($297 million), mineral processing machines and equipment ($271million) and auto parts ($264 million).
China was the biggest exporter to Iran, accounting for $3.5 billion worth of imports during the period. However, China’s exports to Iran showed 9% decline compared with the similar period of last year.
The UAE came second, exporting $3 billion worth of goods to Iran, down 32% compared with last year’s similar period. South Korea, Turkey and India were other top exporters to Iran during the period, with imports from these countries amounting to $1.26 billion, $1 billion and $843 million respectively.


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