EghtesadOnline: Export Price Index, using the year ending March 2012 as a base year and in rial terms, stood at 292.2 in the last fiscal year (March 2018-19), registering a 61.1% increase compared with the year before, the Statistical Center of Iran’s latest report shows.
Last year saw the EPI stand at 132.4 in dollar terms, registering a 19.6% increase year-on-year.
The index stood at 388.6 in rial terms for Q4 (Dec. 22, 2018-March 20) of the last fiscal, registering a 24% increase compared with the preceding quarter and a 102.9% rise YOY.
In dollar terms, EPI stood at 140.1 in Q4, posting a 0.7% rise quarter-on-quarter and an increase of 23.9% YOY, Financial Tribune reported.
The Import Price Index stood at 1,029 in rial terms, registering a 111.4% increase compared with the year before.
In dollar terms, the index stood at 272.9, registering a 15.9% increase YOY.
The fourth quarter saw IPI stand at 1,499.1 in terms of rial, registering a 39.9% increase compared to the third quarter and a rise of 203.3% compared to the same quarter of the year before.
In dollar terms, IPI stood at 310.5 in the fourth quarter, registering an increase of 12.3% QOQ and 33.5% YOY.
Export Price Index tracks changes in the price that firms and countries receive for exported products. A rise in EPI is typically due to strong foreign demand, or higher internal costs within the exporter’s country. Generally, only increases caused by strong foreign demand are beneficial. However, the overall effect of such increases is debatable.
In other words, the indicator measures the overall change in prices for goods and services sold by the residents of the country abroad.
On the other hand, IPI is an economic indicator measuring real output in various industries, with industrial production and capacity levels expressed as an index level relative to a base year, which SCI considers to be fiscal 2011-12, standing at 100.
Decline in Exports/Imports
Iran recorded a non-oil trade surplus of $1.69 billion in the last fiscal year (March 2018-19).
The country’s overall non-oil foreign trade during the 12 months of the current fiscal year stood at $86.92 billion. When compared with statistics provided by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration, this year’s foreign trade indicates a 14.1% decrease compared with the same period of last year.
Overall exports hit 117.22 million tons worth $44.31 billion during the 12-month period to register a 12% decrease in weight and a 6% decline in value YOY, the Persian daily Donya-e-Eqtesad reported.
Imports amounted to 32.04 million tons worth $42.61 billion, down 17.5% in weight. The imports saw a decline of 22% in value YOY, according to IRICA’s figures.
“Iran’s top export destinations last year were China with $9.3 billion, Iraq ($8.9 billion), the UAE ($5.9 billion), Afghanistan ($2.9 billion) and South Korea ($2.5 billion),” Fars News Agency quoted IRICA chief, Mehdi Mirashrafi, as saying.
Last year, exports to China dropped by 8% in weight but increased by more than 2% in value YOY.
Iraq’s imports from Iran grew by more than 49% in weight and 37% in value.
Exports to the UAE declined by 24.5% YOY in tonnage and 12% in value.
Afghanistan’s imports from Iran decreased by 4% in weight, but increased by more than 5% in value YOY.
Exports to South Korea plummeted by more than 51% in weight and 41% in value compared with the year before.
The average price of each ton of exported commodities stood at $378, up 7% compared with the previous year’s same period.
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 “others”.
A total of 34.17 million tons of petrochemicals worth $14.15 billion were exported last year, registering a decline of more than 13% in weight and more than 2% in value compared with the previous year. In fact, petrochemicals accounted for 32% of Iran’s overall non-oil exports in value and more than 29% in weight last tear.
Exports of the main commodity of the “gas condensates” group stood at 9.48 million tons worth $4.93 billion last year, followed by liquefied natural gas worth $1.92 billion, liquefied propane worth $1.71 billion, light oils and products, except gasoline, worth $1.45 billion and methanol worth $1.35 billion. The group comprised 8% in weight and 11% in value of the country’s total non-oil exports last year.
Exports of non-petroleum based products, including carpets, agricultural, industrial and mining products, which are classified in the “others” group, fell in the neighborhood of 73.57 million tons worth $25.22 billion in the 12-month period, indicating a decline of around 4% in weight and 1% in value YOY. “Other items” accounted for 57% of Iran’s total exports in value and 63% in weight.
Major exporters to Iran during last year were China, the UAE, Turkey, India and Germany.
The 12-month imports from China dropped more than 28.5% in weight and 22% in value YOY.
Imports from the UAE decreased 45% in weight and 35% in value.
Turkey’s exports to Iran fell 25% in tonnage and 19% in value.
Last year, imports from India grew close to 15% in value and 12% in weight compared with the year before.
Germany’s exports to Iran fell 35.5% in weight and more than 20% in value.
The average price of each ton of imported commodities stood at $1,330, down 5% YOY.
“Last year’s decline in imports is mostly due to the restrictions imposed on imports of consumer goods,” IRICA’s top official said, adding that intermediate and capital goods accounted for 85% of imports last year.
Last June, the government banned the import of 1,339 commodities categorized as “non-essential goods with domestic counterparts” to economize on the country’s foreign currency.
Iran’s imports over the 12-month period mainly included field corn ($2.09 billion accounting for 5% of total imports), rice worth $1.6 billion (4% of total imports), auto parts, except tires, worth $1.38 billion (3% of total imports), soybeans worth $1.16 billion (3% of imports) and oilcake worth $651 million, or 1.5% of imports.