EghtesadOnline: Iran’s exports to its top trading partner China in 2017 witnessed a 25.2% rise compared to 2016 to reach $18.58 billion, an official with the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran said.
“Iran’s major commodities exported to China last year included crude oil, polyethylene, methanol, sulfur, styrene, iron ore, copper ore, purified copper, chromite, lead ore, zinc ore, marble and travertine,” TPO’s website also quoted Hossein Roostaei as saying.
China is also the biggest exporter to Iran. The latest Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration’s statistics show China exported 3.8 million tons of commodities to Iran worth $10.22 billion in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year (March 21, 2017-Jan. 20). Imports from China saw a rise of more than 5% in weight and 21% in value in the 10-month period, according to Financial Tribune.
“Iran-China trade has been developing since the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the nuclear deal Iran signed with world powers in 2015). China is not only Iran’s biggest trade partner now, but also one of the major investors in our country,” Iran’s Ambassador to China Ali Asghar Khaji told IRNA.
Khaji was referring to China National Petroleum Corporation’s 30% share in the $4.8-billion contract involving Iran, France and China to develop Phase 11 of the giant South Pars Gas Field.
In July 2017, China signed a contract with Iran to finance the electrification of a 926-km railroad from Tehran to the northeastern city of Mashhad in Khorasan Razavi Province with a $1.5 billion loan. This was the first foreign finance in an Iranian project after JCPOA.
In a meeting with Vice Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Chen Yuan in Tehran in December, senior officials of Iran and China called for reducing the US dollar’s role in their bilateral trade.
“Rial-yuan’s bilateral monetary agreement can have a significant role in increasing the volume of trade between the two countries and in this regard, we have conducted a series of negotiations with the Central Bank of the Republic of China’s president,” CBI Governor Valiollah Seif was quoted as saying.
Iran’s trade with China saw a 70% growth under the first presidential term of Hassan Rouhani.
During a trip to Iran after the 2015 nuclear deal was signed, Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed on a wide-ranging, 25-year plan to increase bilateral trade with Iran by over tenfold to $600 billion in the next decade.
Iranian became the sixth largest supplier of iron ore to China by shipping about 22 million tons to the world’s largest importer of the mineral in 2017.