Iran textile exports up 6% in value in 2018: Official

The main exported items were carpets, rugs, tissue paper as well as packaging materials. Iranian companies found their export destinations despite unilateral US sanctions that have caused huge problems for funds transfer.

19 May 2019
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The main exported items were carpets, rugs, tissue paper as well as packaging materials. Iranian companies found their export destinations despite unilateral US sanctions that have caused huge problems for funds transfer.

A man works with machinery at a textile factory in Iran. TASNIM NEWS AGENCY/Mohammad Hossein Movahedinejad

Iranian textile exports rose over six percent in value and 26 percent in weight during the last Persian year (ended March 20, 2019), an official said last Sunday.

'Last year, 312,000 tons of textile and clothing products worth $1.93 billion were exported that shows a rise of nearly six percent in value and 26% in weight as compared to the preceding year's corresponding period,” Afsaneh Mehrabi, director general of the Textile and Clothing Industry Office at the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade (MIMT) was cited by IRNA as saying. 

80,000 tons of textile floor coverings (carpets, rugs, …) worth 417 million dollars made up the bulk of the country’s last year textile exports, according to the official. 

Also, Iran exported 10,000 tons of tissue paper as well as 180,000 tons of packaging materials, she noted. 

Mehrabi added that Iranian textile manufacturers imported 397,000 tons of textile raw materials worth $1.120 billion during the same period, showing a reduction of 32 percent in value and 35 percent in weight. Fiber was the most imported item, she said. 

Iran’s textile and clothing industry needs some $4 billion worth of raw materials, supplies and machinery, $2.5 billion of which is imported, she stressed. 

Bagladeshi fibers blocked on way to Iran

Most of the fiber used in the Iranian textile industry is imported from Bangladesh. Kenaf, widely used in Iran's textile industry, is cultivated mostly in southeast Asia for its fiber. The Bangladeshi kenaf is considered to have a higher quality which combined with cheap labour force has turned the South East Asian country a textile hub where many multinational companies make their products to be used in Europe or the Americas.

82% of Bangladesh exports of up to 37 billion dollars are clothes and the rest are textile raw materials, fruit, tea and chemical products.

Bangladesh is the largest world exporter of kenaf and this can be good reason for a rise in bilateral trade, according to Kashan Chamber of Commerce president.

However, unilateral US sanctions have caused huge problem in the import of Bangladeshi knaf. That's why Iran is seeking to set up a payment channel with the South Asian country to facilitate this fiber trade. 

“Establishing a payment channel between Iran and Bangladesh is an important issue that needs to be pursued,” Sobur Hossain, Commercial Counsellor at the Bangladeshi Embassy in Iran said, adding that “much of the problems in bilateral trade are due to financial transaction.”

Hossain also proposed that a delegation from Bangladeshi banks and kenaf exporters travel to Kashan to hold talks with mechanised carpet-weaving factories to find solutions for problems.

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