EghtesadOnline: Iran’s non-oil foreign trade during the first half of the current fiscal year (March 21-Sept. 22) stood at $45.3 billion, indicating a 0.7% decline compared with last year’s corresponding period.
The country, however, saw a trade surplus of $941 million in H1.
Exports, excluding crude oil, mazut, kerosene and suitcase trade, hit 56.64 million tons worth $23.12 billion, indicating a 3% decrease in weight and a 13% increase in value year-on-year, the latest report by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration shows.
Imports amounted to 16.22 million tons worth $22.18 billion, down by more than 9% in weight and 12% in value over last year’s similar period, according to Financial Tribune.
By “non-oil”, IRICA refers to all commodities, excluding crude oil. So oil byproducts and petrochemical products are still categorized as non-oil.
IRICA categorizes non-oil exports into three groups of petrochemicals, gas condensates and “other items”.
> Petrochemicals Top List of Exports
A total of 13.68 million tons of petrochemicals worth $7.02 billion were exported during the period, registering a decline of more than 3% in weight and 17% in value compared with the same period of last year.
In fact, petrochemicals accounted for more than 30% of Iran’s total non-oil exports.
Exports of gas condensates stood at $2.41 billion, accounting for over 10% of total exports to post a year-on-year decline of more than 46% in weight and 28.5% in value.
Meanwhile, exports of liquefied propane stood at $1.07 billion accounting for 4.64% of total exports, light oils except gasoline at $861 million accounting for 3.72% of total exports and methanol at $693 million accounting for 3% of total exports.
Exports of non-petroleum based products classified within “others” fell in the neighborhood of 38.31 million tons worth $13.67 billion in the first half of the year, indicating a rise of around 7% in weight and a more than 23% rise in value YOY.
Products in “others” group are exported by the private sector, accounting for more than 59% of the country’s total value of non-oil exports in H1.
> Major Exporter Destinations
China, Iraq, the UAE, Afghanistan and India were the main customers of Iranian products during the six-month period.
The UAE, which was Iran’s second top export destination for years, has now been overtaken by Iraq.
Exports to China, Iran's biggest trade partner both in terms of exports and imports, which constituted more than 20% of the total value of Iran’s exports, saw close to 12% rise to hit $4.63 billion.
Iraq imported $4.56 billion worth of non-oil goods from Iran during the first half of the year, 44.5% more than the same period of last year.
Exports to the UAE stood at $4.06 billion, registering a rise of more than 33%. Exports to Afghanistan and India hovered around $1.66 billion and $1.25 billion, respectively. H1 exports to Afghanistan have increased by 31% while those to India decreased by nearly 4% YOY.
The average price of each ton of exported commodities hovered around $408, up close to 17% compared to last year’s same period.
> Main Imports, Exports to Iran
Imports mainly included auto parts ($978 million accounting for over 4% of total imports), rice ($964 million accounting for over 4%), field corn ($961 million accounting for over 4%), soybeans ($705 million accounting for over 3%) and graphite electrodes used in furnaces ($287 million accounting for over 1% of total imports).
Major exporters to Iran during the period included China with $5.5 billion (25% of the value of Iran’s total exports), the UAE with $3.15 billion (14%), South Korea with $1.43 billion (over 6%), India with $1.37 billion (over 6%) and Germany with $1.17 billion (over 5%).
H1 imports from all these countries have declined compared with the same period of last year. Imports from China dropped by 4%, those from the UAE fell by 30%, South Korea 17%, India more than 2% and imports from Germany declined by 14%.
The average price of each ton of imported commodities hovered around $1,368, down 3% compared with last year’s same period.
> Trade Details for Sixth Month
Iran’s non-oil trade with other countries during the one-month period ending Sept. 22, which marks the end of the Iranian month of Shahrivar, stood at $7.09 billion, indicating a year-on-year decline of 8.4%.
Exports amounted to 10.34 million tons worth $3.8 billion for the month while imports reached 2.25 million tons worth $3.28 billion to register a trade surplus of $516 million in the third month of Q2, according to a report by the Persian economic daily Donya-e-Eqtesad.
Exports of petrochemicals reached $1.17 billion in Shahrivar, gas condensates $248 million and exports of items included in “others” hit $2.38 billion.