EghtesadOnline: Iran’s non-oil trade with Persian Gulf littoral states, namely the UAE, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, amounted to $23.89 billion in the last Iranian year (ended March 20, 2018), indicating an increase of 16.81% compared to the year before, Financial Tribune’s data analysis based on the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration's statistics indicates.
Iran exported $13.69 billion worth of non-oil goods to these six countries last year, registering a decrease of 1.58%, while the country’s imports stood at $10.20 billion up by 55.96% compared to the year before.
Iran-UAE trade stood at $16.83 billion during the period, up by 21.18% year-on-year, making the Arab nation Iran’s biggest trading partner among the six countries under review.
The UAE was Iran’s second biggest trading partner in the world last year after China, Financial Tribune reported.
Iran exported 18.08 million tons of commodities worth $6.76 billion to the UAE during the period, posting a 4.68% and 9.59% decrease in tonnage and value respectively YOY.
The UAE exported 6.94 million tons of goods worth $10.06 billion to Iran during the same period, up 55.25% and 57.11% in tonnage and value respectively YOY.
A major part of Iran's trade with the UAE pertains to reexports of goods to third countries. These commercial exchanges are mainly conducted through the ports of Dubai, including Jebel Ali Port.
Iraq was Iran's second biggest trading partner among Arab states of the Persian Gulf, having traded $6.5 billion worth of non-oil goods with Iran last year, up by 4.96% YOY.
Iran exported 13.09 million tons of commodities worth $6.42 billion to Iraq, posting an 8.40% decrease and a 4.79% increase in tonnage and value respectively YOY.
Iraq exported 80,429 tons of goods worth $77.44 billion to Iran, up 51.91% and 21.50% in tonnage and value respectively YOY. Iraq was Iran’s fifth major trading partner in the world last year.
Trade with Kuwait witnessed a YOY increase of 13.54% to $275.57 million. Kuwait was Iran’s 36th trading partner in the world last year.
Iran exported 3.05 million tons of non-oil goods worth $248.08 million to Kuwait, up 12.55% and 31.51% in tonnage and value respectively YOY.
Kuwait’s exports to Iran stood at 3,391 tons worth $27.49 million, down by 58.34% and 49.15% respectively YOY.
Iran’s non-oil trade with Qatar witnessed a staggering year-on-year increase of 137.38% to reach $272.34 million. This is the highest rise in trade with Iran among Persian Gulf littoral states.
The huge rise in trade with Qatar is rooted in the political and economic crisis Doha faced after a number of Arab states led by Saudi Arabia abruptly severed relations with the country in June last year and imposed a blockade on it, citing support for terrorist groups.
The Qatari government has denied the accusation, blasting the blockade as unjustified and a violation of international law.
Iran’s exports to Qatar reached 1.7 million tons worth $248.54 million during the year, marking an increase of 68.51% and 141.18% in tonnage and value YOY.
This is while Iran imported 1,624 tons of Qatari goods worth $23.80 million, down by 50.48% in tonnage and up by 103.77% in value YOY. As a result, Qatar was Iran’s 37th trading partner in the world during the period under review.
Bahrain was next as trade with this country totaled $17.14 million last year, registering a 17.36% growth YOY. Bahrain was Iran’s 77th trading partner in the world.
Iran’s exports to Bahrain stood at 8,719 tons worth $11.61 million, slightly up by 0.24% and 2.40% in tonnage and value respectively YOY, as Bahrain's exports to Iran stood at 1,433 tons worth $5.53 million, down by 33.91% in tonnage and 69.32% in value YOY.
Among Persian Gulf nations, the lowest level of bilateral trade was registered with Saudi Arabia. Iran did not have any exports to the Arab country; instead the country imported 378 tons of Saudi non-oil goods worth $1.39 million, noticeably down by 85.38% and 67.12% in tonnage and value respectively YOY.