EghtesadOnline: Iran’s non-oil foreign trade during the first five months of the current fiscal year (March 21-Aug. 22) stood at $38.2 billion, indicating a 0.8% rise compared with last year’s corresponding period.
Exports, excluding crude oil, mazut, kerosene and suitcase trade, hit 46.29 million tons worth $19.31 billion, indicating a 2.94% decrease in weight and a 13.7% increase in value year-on-year, the latest report by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration shows.
Imports amounted to 13.96 million tons worth $18.89 billion, down 5.82% in weight and 9.66% in value over last year’s similar period.
By "non-oil", IRICA refers to all commodities, except crude oil. Oil-based products and by-products, as well as petrochemical products, are still categorized as non-oil, Financial Tribune reported.
IRICA categorizes non-oil exports into three groups of petrochemicals, gas condensates and “other items”.
A total of 11.23 million tons of petrochemicals worth $5.85 billion were exported during the period, registering a rise of 4.21% in weight and 20.06% in value compared with the same period of last year. In fact, petrochemicals accounted for more than 30.29% of Iran’s total non-oil exports.
Exports of gas condensates stood at $2.17 billion, accounting for 11.23% of total exports to post a year-on-year decline of more than 41.6% in weight and 22.53% in value.
Exports of liquefied propane stood at $845 million accounting for more than 4.3% of total exports, light oils, except gasoline, at $734 million accounted for 3.8% of total exports, methanol at $560 million accounted for 2.9% of total exports and polyethylene at $496 million accounted for 2.57% of total exports.
Exports of products classified within the “others” category fell in the neighborhood of 30.89 million tons worth $11.29 billion, accounting for more than 58.4% of total non-oil exports.
China, the UAE, Iraq, Afghanistan and India were the main customers of Iranian products during the five-month period. Exports to China and the UAE saw more than a 7.53% and 33.13% rise in value to hit $3.77 billion and $3.5 billion respectively.
The looming reimposition of US economic sanctions against Iran seems to be the reason behind the significant growth in exports to the UAE. The neighboring Arab country is likely to reclaim its intermediary role in Iran’s exports.
Iraq, Afghanistan and India’s imports from Iran totaled $3.41 billion, $1.43 billion and $987 million, respectively.
Exports to Iraq increased by 29.35% while exports to India decreased by 14.03%. Exports to Afghanistan and “other countries” increased by 32.49% and 3.8%, respectively.
The average price of each ton of exported commodities hovered around $417, up 17.13% compared to last year’s same period.
Imports mainly included auto parts ($882 million accounting for about 4.67% of total imports), rice ($863 million accounting for 4.57% of total imports), field corn ($814 million accounting for about 4.31% of total imports), soybeans ($595 million accounting for more than 3.1% of total imports) and graphite electrodes ($246 million accounting for close to 1.3% of total imports).
Major exporters to Iran during the period included China with $4.83 billion, the UAE with $2.66 billion, South Korea with $1.25 billion, India with $1.2 billion and Germany with $969 million.
Imports from China saw a 2.66% increase while imports from the UAE, South Korea, India and Germany decreased by 28.95%, 14.55%, 7.7% and 15.4% respectively.
The average price of each ton of imported commodities hovered around $1,353, down 4.11% compared with last year’s corresponding period.
> Monthly Trade Surplus
Iran’s non-oil trade with other countries during the one-month period ending Aug. 22, which marks the end of the Iranian month of Mordad, stood at $7.58 billion, indicating a year-on-year decline of 12.17%.
Exports amounted to $3.86 billion for the month while imports reached $3.71 billion to register a trade surplus of $154 million in the second month of the second quarter.
This is while exports in the previous Iranian month, Tir (June 22-July 22) stuck around $3.83 billion and imports reached $3.92 billion to post a $94-million trade deficit, a report by the Persian daily Donya-e Eqtesad citing IRICA data read.
Exports of petrochemicals reached $1.2 billion in Mordad, gas condensates $306 million and exports of items included in “others” category hit $2.35 billion.