Iran spent $15.5m on masks imports in 8 months

Iran spent $15.5 million on imports of various types of face masks to control the spread of the coronavirus in the 8 months to late November before becoming a net exporter of the protective item in later months of 2020, shows a report.

4 January 2021
ID : 22706
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Iran spent $15.5 million on imports of various types of face masks to control the spread of the coronavirus in the 8 months to late November before becoming a net exporter of the protective item in later months of 2020, shows a report.

Pedestrians wearing face masks cross a street in northern Tehran, Iran. Photo: AP

Iran spent $15.5 million on imports of various types of face masks to control the spread of the coronavirus in the 8 months to late November before becoming a net exporter of the protective item in later months of 2020, shows a report.

A study published by Tehran’s Chamber of Commerce (TCCIM) on Saturday said that Iran had imported 132 metric tons of face masks from four countries between March 20 and November 20.

China had accounted for 98 percent of face masks shipments to Iran, said the report.

However, it said Iranian government gradually lowered imports and began marketing home-made face masks in other countries as it scaled up domestic manufacturing of medical equipment to respond to a growing demand.

The TCCIM study said that Iranian-made masks had been shipped to nine countries over the eight-month period. It said, however, that declining prices of masks in the international markets caused earnings to fall to only $206,000 for nearly 9.2 tons of face masks exported over the period.

On average, Iran had spent $126 for each kilogram of masks imported into the country while the average price for exports was significantly lower, around $22 per kilogram, said the report.

A bulk of Iranian-made face masks had been sent to Oman and Afghanistan as the two countries took delivery of 62 percent of all shipments.

Iran has tapped its home-grown capacities to respond to one of the harshest outbreaks of the coronavirus in the Middle East region.

That has offset the negative impacts of the American sanctions on the government's ability to buy drugs and medical equipment from abroad.

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