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EghtesadOnline: Iran recorded a non-oil trade surplus of $1.94 billion in the eight months ending No. 21, the latest report by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration show.

Exports, excluding crude oil, mazut, kerosene and suitcase trade, hit 75.27 million tons worth $31.49 billion during the period, indicating a 5% decrease in weight and a 12.96% increase in value year-on-year. 

Imports amounted to 21.49 million tons worth $29.54 billion, down by more than 12.58% in weight and 14.04% in value over last year’s similar period.

All in all, Iran’s non-oil foreign trade during the eight months of the current fiscal year (March 21-Nov. 21) stood at $61.04 billion, indicating a 0.23% increase compared with last year’s corresponding period, according to Financial Tribune.


Top Export Destinations

Iraq was the main customer of Iranian products in the eight-month period. Iran’s exports to Iraq surged by 66.59% to reach $6.75 billion to account for 21% of the total value of Iran’s exports during the period.

In fact, Iraq overtook China, Iran's longstanding top export destination, as of last month when IRICA reported that Iran’s exports to the western neighbor surged by 55% in value and more than 65% in weight to reach $5.73 billion during the seven months of the current Iranian year (March 21-Oct. 22) to account for 21% of the total value of Iran’s exports during the period.

Iran mainly exports liquefied gas, hydrocarbons, mineral products, fresh or frozen tomatoes and evaporative coolers to Iraq.

Secretary-General of Iran-Iraq Chamber of Commerce Hamid Hosseini said as Iraq is beginning to rebuild the infrastructure destroyed by terrorists, a number of its cities, especially Mosul and Kirkuk can become a suitable market for Iranian construction materials and foodstuff.

"Iraq has six million displaced citizens, four million of whom have returned after Daesh was defeated. Iranian products can be the best option to provide for these people, however our share in the markets of Mosul and Kirkuk is relatively low at present and we need to increase it," he told IRNA recently.

After Iraq, Iran’s top export destinations were China, the UAE, Afghanistan and India in a descending order. 

China bought $6.46 billion worth of non-oil goods from Iran during the eight months, 18% more than the same period of last year. 

Exports to the UAE stood at $5.09 billion, registering more than a 26% increase YOY.

Exports to Afghanistan and India hovered around $2.24 billion and $1.57 billion, respectively, indicating a YOY increase of 26% and a YOY decrease of 11% respectively.

By “non-oil”, IRICA refers to all commodities, except crude oil. Therefore, oil-driven products and byproducts, as well as petrochemical products are still categorized as non-oil.  

IRICA categorizes non-oil exports into three groups of petrochemicals, gas condensates and “other items”.


Top Exported Commodities


A total of 21.72 million tons of petrochemicals worth $10.37 billion were exported during the period under review, registering an increase of more than 13% in weight and 32% in value compared with the same period of last year. In fact, petrochemicals accounted for 33% of Iran’s overall non-oil exports.

Exports of gas condensates stood at 5.33 million tons worth $2.77 billion, accounting for 8.81% of total exports to post a year-on-year decline of more than 53% in weight and 38% in value. 

Exports of liquefied propane stood at $1.33 billion accounting for more 4.25% of total exports, light oils, except gasoline, at $1.1 billion accounting for 3.5% of total exports and methanol at $1.06 million accounting for 3.39% of total exports. 

Iran also exported $986 million worth of liquefied natural gas that constituted 3.13% of its total non-oil exports. 

Exports of non-petroleum based products, including carpets, agricultural as well as industrial and mining products that are classified within “others” group fell in the neighborhood of 48.21 million tons worth $18.34 billion in the eight-month period, indicating a decrease of 1% in weight and an increase of 18% in value YOY. 

Products in “others” group are exported by the private sector, accounting for 58% of the country’s total value of non-oil exports during the period. 

The average price of each ton of exported commodities hovered around $418, up more than 19% compared with last year’s corresponding period.


Top Exporters to Iran, Main Imported Commodities


Major exporters to Iran during the period included China with $7.38 billion (24.99% of the value of Iran’s total exports), the UAE with $4.45 billion (15.08%), South Korea with $1.76 billion (5.97%), India with $1.61 billion (5.46%) and Germany with $1.6 billion (5.43%). 

Eight-month imports from China dropped by 9%, those from the UAE and South Korea fell by 30% and 26% respectively and imports from Germany declined by 14%. This is while India’s exports to Iran grew by less than 1%.

The imports mainly included field corn ($1.28 billion accounting for more than 4% of total imports), auto parts ($1.13 billion accounting for more than 4% of total imports), rice ($996 million accounting for more than 3% of total imports), soybeans ($932 million accounting for more than 3% of total imports) and graphite electrodes used in furnaces ($377 million accounting for more than 1% of total imports). 

The average price of each ton of imported commodities hovered around $1,374, down close to 2% compared with last year’s same period. 


8th Month in Detail


Iran’s non-oil trade with the world during the one-month period ending Nov. 21, which marks the end of the Iranian month of Aban (eighth Iranian month), reached 10.46 million tons worth $7.5 billion, indicating a year-on-year decrease of 30.5% in weight and around 13.29% in value. 

Exports amounted to 7.9 million tons worth $4.26 billion for the month, registering a decrease of 29.4% in weight and an increase of 10.65% in value YOY.  

Imports reached 2.56 million tons worth $3.24 billion, posting a 33.51% decrease in weight and a 32.36% decrease in value. 

A monthly trade surplus of $1.01 billion was recorded in Aban, the Persian daily Donya-e-Eqtesad reported. 

Exports of petrochemicals reached $1.81 billion in Aban, gas condensates $58 million and exports of items categorized as 'others' hit $2.35 billion in the month under review.


Iran trade surplus