EghtesadOnline: Iran accounts for about a quarter of all exports to neighboring Iraq.
According to Iran's commercial attaché to Iraq, Nasser Behzad, China with 20%, Turkey with 19%, the US with close to 10%, India with 4% and Jordan with 2% are other major exporters to Iraq, Mizan Online reported.
A total of 5.7 million tons of commodities worth $4 billion were exported from Iran to Iraq during the first five months of the current Iranian year (March 21-Aug. 22) showing a 10% rise in both weight and value compared with the similar period of last year.
Iran’s total exports during the five-month period amounted to $18 billion and exports to Iraq accounted for 22% of this sum, according to Financial Tribune.
According to Behzad, each ton of Iranian exports to Iraq was priced at $700 during the five months under review.
“Our main exports to Iraq include food and agricultural products such as tomato paste, pastry, chocolate, pistachio and dairy, in addition to plastic products, steel, construction materials, toiletries and industrial machinery. We also export oil products, gas and electricity to Iraq,” he said.
The government, according to the commercial attaché, is looking to increase annual exports to Iraq to $20 billion by 2021-22.
Last year's (March 2018-19) data show 19.84 million tons of non-oil goods worth $9.01 billion were traded between Iran and Iraq to register a 48.25% and 35.75% growth in tonnage and value respectively compared to the year before.
Iran exported 19.76 million tons of goods worth $8.96 billion to Iraq, up by 49.15% and 36.71% in tonnage and value respectively year-on-year.
Iraq was Iran’s second biggest export destination after China last year.
Iran imported 73,563 tons of commodities worth $58.69 million from Iraq in return, down 43.14% and 34.61% in tonnage and value respectively YOY, most of which included low-density oil, machinery, aluminum alloy and cans.
With goods worth $1.93 billion, Iraq was also the biggest importer of Iran's mineral products last year.
According to data released by the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation (IMIDRO), a total of 9.67 million tons of mineral products were exported from Iran to the neighboring country last year.
According to the secretary-general of Iran-Iraq Chamber of Commerce, Iran's mineral exports to Iraq last year mainly included non-precious metals worth $1.13 billion, which experienced an over 50% rise compared with the year before.
More specifically, the bulk of exports included steel products worth $1 billion as well as copper products worth $71 million.
Iraq reopened its Qaim border-crossing with Syria recently after eight years of closure amid regional turmoil, in the latest sign of normalization between Baghdad and Damascus and a win for their mutual ally Iran.
“The reopening of the border crossing will reduce transit costs between Iran and Syria by 50%,” says the head of Iran-Syria Economic Committee, Kayvan Kashefi.
“Iranians would normally send goods to Syria either via the southern port of Bandar Abbas or Mersin Port in Turkey. Such a shipping method would cost $4,500-5,000 for each container and take up to 40 days to complete. With the reopening of the Abu Kamal-Qaim border crossing, transit costs will drop by $1,500-2,000 and trucks will arrive in Syria within three days,” he was quoted as saying by Otaghiranonline.ir.
The crossing, which Iraqi officials declared open for travelers and trade, is crucial for Iran’s bid to cement its growing sway over a corridor of territory from Tehran to Beirut, according to Reuters.