EghtesadOnline: A total of $2.89 billion worth of auto parts, excluding tires, were imported during the last fiscal year (March 2017-18), more than any other commodity shipped into Iran during the period, according to Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture.
The figure had a 5.3% share in the total value of Iran's imports during the period under review.
Field corn was Iran’s second biggest imported item last year, as the country imported $1.61 billion worth of the crop (3%).
It was followed by 56,134 automobiles, excluding ambulance and hybrid cars, valued at $1.31 billion; rice ($1.21 billion), soybeans ($943 million); bananas ($544 million); mobile phones ($529 million); LED/LCD displays ($526 million); frozen beef ($524 million); barley ($518 million); soybean meal ($503 million); unrefined and sunflower oil ($424), Financial Tribune reported.
According to the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration, Iran imported a total of $54.3 billion worth of goods last year to register a 24.31% rise compared to the year before.
IRICA explained that the key driver of growth in imports was higher imports of basic goods, auto parts and capital goods.
Imports of intermediate goods stood at 29.91 million tons worth $32.75 billion, accounting for 60.31% of total imports. The import of 895,000 tons of capital goods worth $8.69 billion accounted for 16.02% of overall imports.
Major exporters to Iran last year were China with $13.21 billion, the UAE with $10.06 billion, South Korea with $3.71 billion, Turkey with $3.19 billion and Germany with $3.83 billion.
Imports from China increased by 23%, the UAE by 57%, South Korea by 7%, Turkey by 17% and Germany 21.5%.
Exports during the 12-month period hit $46.93 billion, indicating a 6.56% rise year-on-year. As such, Iran recorded $4.37 billion in non-oil trade deficit in the last fiscal year.
Although IRICA uses the term "non-oil", it includes oil-driven products like petrochemicals, gas condensates, liquefied natural gas, liquefied propane, light crude oil and methanol in its export statistics.
Incidentally, the above-mentioned products had a lion's share of Iran's "non-oil" exports (petrochemical products alone accounted for 32% of the value of total exports last year). Therefore, excluding these items would lead us to a much wider trade deficit for the country.