Economy, Domestic Economy

Non-Oil Exports at $50b, Up 19%

Non-Oil Exports  at $50b, Up 19%
Non-Oil Exports  at $50b, Up 19%

Export of non-oil commodities, including gas condensates, reached $50 billion over the past Iranian calendar year (ended March 20), recording a 19% increase compared to the preceding year, deputy minister of industry, mine and trade and the head of Trade Promotion Organization of Iran, Valiollah Afkhami-Rad announced on Monday.

Moreover, around $13 billion was registered for the export of various services, which brings the total export of goods and services during the period to $63 billion, Mehr news agency reported.

The main commodities exported over the past year included liquefied propane, liquefied butane, methanol, polyethylene film grades, bitumen, non-alloyed iron or steel products, pistachios, urea, and white Portland cement.

Afkhami-Rad emphasized the need for boosting the level of exports in various service sectors, including technical, transit, tourism, and engineering design. He noted that while expanding services export in such industries as transit and tourism is achievable in the short run, increasing the technical and engineering services exports calls for the removal of existing barriers such as the difficulties in issuing surety bonds by the banks in destination countries, adding that relevant discussion are underway with the Central Bank of Iran.

> Trade Balance Improves 65%

Meanwhile, total imports reached nearly $52.5 billion during the same period, recording a trade deficit of about $2.5 billion; which according to Afkhami-Rad indicated 65% improvement compared to the previous year's balance of trade, and 8% excluding gas condensates.

China, Iraq, the UAE, Afghanistan and India were the biggest export destinations in descending order; while the UAE, China, South Korea and Switzerland were the main countries exporting to Iran. Wheat, iron and non-alloy steel ingots, corn, soybean and rice constituted the bulk of imports to Iran over the period. 

Iran is planning to increase its non-oil exports by at least 20% in the current year. To achieve the goal, the government is trying to implement various plans, including the offering tax-exemption on some commodities and permitting export of some previously banned items.

The list of goods subjected to export duties, announced by the Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) earlier this week, removes the export ban for products such as iron ore lump, iron ore concentrate, sulfur molybdenum, and Salambor sheep skin by imposing certain export duties. The announcement also permits the export of almost all industrial and agricultural products, with the exception of only a few agricultural commodities, according to a report by Persian economic daily, Donya-e Eghetsad.