China, Iraq maintain top positions as Iran non-oil export markets in 11 months

Although bilateral trade between Iran and China have seen a sharp dip, the Asian power is still the first destination of Iranian non-oil exports which, according to latest reports, are petroleum-based products are petrochemicals.

19 March 2019
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Although bilateral trade between Iran and China have seen a sharp dip, the Asian power is still the first destination of Iranian non-oil exports which, according to latest reports, are petroleum-based products are petrochemicals.

A worker seen on a container in Irans Shahid Rajai Port in Bandar Abbas. (Photo: Tasnim News Agency)

China, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Afghanistan and Turkey were Iran’s top five export markets during the 11 months to 19 February, according to the lastest figures published by Iran Customs Administration (IRICA), Financial Tribune reports.  

Iran’s exports to China reached 28.52 million tons, indicating a decrease of 9.41% in weight compared with the same period a year before.

Iraq bought 18.39 million tons of non-oil goods from Iran, up 53.09% in tonnage and 42.02% in value YOY.  

Exports to the UAE, Afghanistan and Turkey declined by 21.29%, 2.15% and 7.63% respectively, the paper says.    

The average price of each ton of exported commodities hovered around $378, up more than 5.8% YOY.

In contrast, the average price of each ton of imported commodities hovered around $1,331, down 4.93% compared with last year’s same period,the recent figures show. 

The Statistical Center of Iran’s latest report shows the export price index (using the fiscal ending March 2012 as base year and in terms of rial) stood at 313.3 for the third quarter of the current Iranian year (Sept. 23-Dec. 21, 2018), to register a 30.3% increase compared with the preceding quarter (summer) and a 71.7% rise compared with the same quarter of the year before.

Petroleum-based exports

Some 50% of Iran’s "non-oil" exports actually consist of petroleum-based products and petrochemicals that either directly or indirectly come from the oil industry. 

Latest statistics show overall "non-oil" exports hit 105.9 million tons worth $40.07 billion during the 11 months to Feb. 19 to register a 6.36% decrease in weight and a 0.74% decline in value year-on-year, IRNA reported. 

Countries plan their trade based on their economic advantages. Therefore, foreign trade mirrors economy. They seek to export items they are capable of producing at the lowest end-price in order to compete with other countries. 

Except for China, which exports almost everything thanks to its cheap labor force and production, each country is known for the product it exports, IRNA wrote.

By “non-oil”, IRICA actually refers to all commodities, except crude oil, according to Financial Tribune.  

In fact, gas condensates were Iran’s main exported non-oil commodity during the 11 months under review with $3.93 billion, followed by liquefied natural gas worth $1.92 billion, liquefied propane worth $1.6 billion, light oils and products, except gasoline, worth $1.32 billion and methanol worth $1.29 billion.

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