Iran’s non-oil foreign trade tops $19 billion in four months

Iran’s non-oil foreign trade stood at $19.63 billion during the four months to July 21, of which exports accounted for $8.71 billion and imports constituted $10.92 billion.

3 August 2020
ID : 22503
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Iran’s non-oil foreign trade stood at $19.63 billion during the four months to July 21, of which exports accounted for $8.71 billion and imports constituted $10.92 billion.

Local customs in south westerns port of Khorramshahr.

Iran’s non-oil foreign trade stood at $19.63 billion during the four months to July 21, of which exports accounted for $8.71 billion and imports constituted $10.92 billion, according to Rouhollah Latifi, the spokesman of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration. 

The country posted a trade deficit of $2.21 billion over the first four months of the current fiscal year. 

Noting that Iran traded over 42.07 million tons of non-oil goods during the four-month period, the official put the weight of exports and imports at 30.28 million tons and 11.79 million tons respectively, Fars News Agency reported.

“Compared with the corresponding period of last year [March 21-July 22, 2019], exports and imports registered a 39% and 1% decline in weight and a 40% and 24% decrease in value, respectively,” he said. 

Oil-based products and byproducts, as well as petrochemical products, are included in the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration's non-oil export data. In fact, petrochemicals and gas condensates constitute the bigger share of total exports.

China was Iran’s main export destination with 8.46 million tons of non-oil goods worth $2.47 billion to account for 28% of Iran’s total exports. 

It was followed by Iraq with 6.44 million tons of imports from Iran worth $1.96 billion and a share of 22% of Iran’s total exports, the UAE with 4.62 million tons worth $1.21 billion and a share of 14%, Afghanistan with 2.11 million tons worth $713 million and a share of 8% and Turkey with 843,000 tons worth $405 million and a share of 5% from Iran’s total exports.

Top five exporters to Iran during the period under review were China with 1 million tons worth $2.8 billion and a share of 25% of Iran’s total imports, the UAE with 1.33 million tons of non-oil goods worth $2.47 billion and a share of 23%, Turkey with 1.87 million tons worth $1.17 billion and a share of 11%, India with 939,000 tons of non-oil goods worth $757 million and a share of 7% and Germany with 493,000 tons of goods worth $536 million and a share of 5%,” Latifi said. 

According to a report by the Persian-language daily Donya-e-Eqtesad, Iran’s non-oil exports during one month to July 21 (the fourth month of the current Iranian year) indicate a 13% growth in weight and value compared with the month ending June 20 to stand at 8.37 million tons worth $2.33 billion. 

Imports during the month show a month-on-month increase of 27% in value and a 14% rise in weight to stand at 2.87 million tons worth $3.28 billion. The monthly trade deficit hovered around $944 million. Iran’s foreign trade increased from $4.64 billion in the month ending June 20 to $5.61 billion in the month ending July 21. 

Coronavirus Blow
The country’s trade deficit over the past four months is mainly related to trade disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Mohammad Lahouti, the head of Iran Export Confederation said. 

“Forecasts say global trade will contract by 15-30% in 2020. Iran would also be affected by the issue as well as US sanctions. Almost all border crossings were closed from February to late May due the outbreak of coronavirus; Iran was unable to have any exports and we practically lost two of our main export destinations, namely Iraq and Afghanistan. However, marine trade continued and imports from our top trading partner, China, kept more or less in step.    

“You also need to factor in the role of coronavirus on global economy and the decline in people’s income and purchasing power. Demand for consumer and intermediate goods have plummeted sharply; businesses take a drubbing as tourist numbers plunge. Anyhow, it is our hope to see the country’s trade deficit narrow in the next couple of months, but that is contingent on coronavirus developments,” he said.  

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