Iran trade deficit at $1.5bn in 11-months ending February

Iran’s trade balance has slipped into a deficit of $1.5 billion in the 11-month period ending late February as imports surge by more than two percent.

17 March 2020
ID : 22332
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Iran’s trade balance has slipped into a deficit of $1.5 billion in the 11-month period ending late February as imports surge by more than two percent.

Customs data released on Monday showed that exports declined 4.48 percent year on year between March 21, 2019 and February 19, 2020 to stand at $38.5 billion.

The data excluded Iran’s exports of crude, mazut, kerosene and trade carried out through passenger suitcases, said a report by Tasnim news agency which added that exports had increased by 17.61 percent in volume terms to reach 125 million metric tons in nearly a year.

The report said that imports into Iran in the 11-month period increased by 2.31 percent year on year to top $40 billion. It said the total weight of imports also increased 10.84 percent to reach 32 million tons.

Iran’s main export destination was China which took delivery of $8.870 billion or 23 percent of all shipments. It was followed by Iraq at $8.508 billion and Turkey with nearly $5 billion.

China was also the biggest exporter to Iran with more than a fourth of all shipments at $10.106 billion. The United Arab Emirates came second with nearly $8 billion followed by Turkey at $4.65 billion.

Previous reports have suggested that Iran’s exports of goods and products excluding crude have been surging since the United States imposed a raft of sanctions on the country’s oil exports in November 2018.

That has come as the government seeks to diversify the economy away from oil as it looks for alternative sources of earning hard currency.

Various petrochemical products, minerals and metals as well as agrifood currently account for a bulk of Iran’s exports.

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