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EghtesadOnline: The Export Price Index in Iran stood at 938.7 for the eighth month of the current fiscal year (Oct. 23-Nov. 21, 2018), registering a 5.9% decrease compared with the preceding month, and a 240.2% rise compared with the similar month of 2017, the Central Bank of Iran’s latest data show.

The EPI index saw a rise of 162.6% over the eight-month period from the beginning of the current fiscal year (March 21, 2018) to Nov. 21, and an increase of 118.5% over the 12-months to Nov. 21 compared with the corresponding periods of last year. 

EPI is primarily influenced by two factors: foreign exchange rates and global commodity prices. 

The index is calculated for the prices of one or a basket of commodities in international trading, using FOB export prices, Financial Tribune reported.


Changes for Different Groups of Commodities

CBI's breakdown data on EPI for different groups of commodities show the index for the “animal and vegetable fat and oils” group had the sharpest decline among main groups (28.2%) as that of “mineral products” had the slowest EPI decrease (1.9%) compared with the month before.

The highest year-on-year increase was registered for "chemicals and related industries" with 307.2%, followed by “wood and wood products” with 268.6%. The slowest year-on-year rise was registered for “textiles” with 135.3%.


Non-Oil Export Statistics

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

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, in the preceding month when IRICA reported that Iran’s exports to the western neighbor surged by 55% in value and 65% in weight to reach $5.73 billion during the seven months of the current Iranian year (March 21-Oct. 22, 2018) 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.

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 a more than 26% increase YOY.

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

A total of 21.72 million tons of petrochemicals worth $10.37 billion were exported during the period, 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 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 agricultural, industrial and mining products, as well as carpets, that are classified within “other products” fell in the neighborhood of 48.21 million tons worth $18.34 billion in the eight-month period, indicating a decrease of around 1% in weight and an increase of  nearly 18% in value YOY. 

Products in this 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 stood at $418, up more than 19% compared with last year’s corresponding period.

All in all, Iran’s non-oil foreign trade during the eight months stood at $61.04 billion, indicating a 0.23% increase compared with last year’s corresponding period. As a result, the country reported a record surplus of $1.94 million.

In other words, non-oil 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. 

During the one-month period ending Nov. 21, which marks the end of the eighth Iranian month of Aban, non-oil exports stood at 7.9 million tons worth $4.26 billion, registering a decrease of 29.4% in weight and an increase of 10.65% in value YOY.

Exports of petrochemicals reached $1.81 billion in Aban, gas condensates $58 million and exports of items categorized as "other products" hit $2.35 billion in the same month.

Imports reached 2.56 million tons worth $3.24 billion, posting a 33.51% decrease in weight and a 32.36% decline in value. A monthly trade surplus of $1.01 billion was recorded in Aban.


Iran CBI Central Bank of Iran export price index