Domestic Economy

Iran Foreign Trade Tops $29b

China remains Iran’s biggest trade partner.
China remains Iran’s biggest trade partner.

Iran’s non-oil foreign trade during the four months of the current Iranian year (March 2017-18) reached $29.27 billion, indicating a 6% rise compared with last year’s corresponding period.

Non-oil exports during the same period of last year hit $13.45 billion, indicating a 9.54% decline year-on-year.

Imports stood at $15.81 billion, registering a 23.97% rise YOY, IRNA reported, citing the latest report by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration.

Gas condensates ($2.31 billion), followed by light crude oil excluding gasoline ($512 million), polyethylene ($485 million), liquefied propane ($446 million) and methanol ($426 million) were the main exported commodities.

Imports chiefly included rice ($603 million), field corn ($484 million), vehicles of engine displacement between 1500 cc and 2000 cc ($426 million), soybean ($338 million) and auto parts ($311 million).

China was the main customer of Iranian products during the four-month period, as Iran exported $2.84 billion worth of goods to the Asian country. Other major export destinations included Iraq with $2.52 billion, the UAE ($2.03 billion), South Korea ($1.4 billion) and India ($926 million).

Major exporters to Iran included China ($3.49 billion), the UAE ($2.99 billion), South Korea ($1.07 billion), Turkey ($958 million) and India ($891 million).

The average price of each ton of exported goods stood at $358 and that of imported commodities hovered around $1,399.  

  Traditional Partners Remain as EU Trade Gets Boost

The above stats indicate that while China remains Iran’s biggest trade partner, as it has been over the past many years, other major countries with which the Islamic Republic conducts its commercial exchanges are still the same ones that traded with the country after international sanctions were imposed.

The sanctions imposed against Iran over its nuclear program began to roll back as of January 2016 as part of a landmark deal Tehran signed with world powers a year earlier.

Nonetheless, data released by Luxembourg-based Directorate General of the European Commission, Eurostat, show Iran’s trade with Europe has been on the rise post sanctions.

Iran exported €2.77 billion worth of goods to the European Union in the first quarter of 2017, registering a sixfold rise compared with the preceding year’s corresponding period, Eurostat reported.

Mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation, bituminous substances and mineral waxes accounted for a majority of Iran’s exports to the EU during the period, with a total value of €2.5 billion. Non-oil exports to the EU, however, still remain unimpressive. Fruit and nuts (€72 million) and plastic products (€48.5 million) were other top exports during the period.

Iran imported €2.52 billion worth of commodities from the European Union during the same period, recording a %56 rise year-on-year. Imports mainly included nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances and parts worth €665 million. Vehicles and their parts and accessories with $245 million and aircraft, spacecraft and their parts with $242.6 million came next.

Italy was the biggest importer from Iran in the first quarter among all European states, as it bought €807.4 million worth of Iranian goods during the period. France, Spain and Greece followed with €614.6 million, €329.6 million and €320 million worth of imports respectively.

Germany topped the list of exporters to Iran, shipping €694.4 million worth of goods to the Islamic Republic in three months. France came second with €461 million and Italy followed with €418.6 million.

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