EghtesadOnline: Iran traded 2.52 million tons of agrifood products worth 1.09 billion with the Eurasian Economic Union in the last Iranian year (March 2018-19), according to Shahrokh Shajari, director general of Agriculture Ministry's Export Promotion Bureau.
Data released by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration show Iran traded 4.04 million tons of non-oil commodities worth $2.09 billion with the five EEU member states during the same period, registering a 22.96% and 34.08% increase in tonnage and value respectively compared with the previous year.
Agrifood trade accounted for 62.37% and 52.15% of the volume and value of total non-oil trade between Iran and EEU respectively last year.
Iran exported a total of 1.55 million tons of non-oil commodities worth $607.43 million to the union last year, according to Financial Tribune.
“Iran’s agrifood exports to the EEU member states stood at around 405,010 tons worth $315.3 million during the 12-month period,” Shajari was quoted as saying by ILNA.
The above figures account for 26.12% and 51.9% of the weight and value of total non-oil exports to the Eurasian Union respectively over the period.
Iran's agrifood exports to EEU mainly include apples, vegetables, grapes, oranges, raisins, dates, kiwi and pistachio.
Around 2.49 million tons of non-oil products worth $1.48 billion were imported from EEU members during the 12 months, based on IRICA figures.
According to Shajari, 2.12 million tons worth $776.37 million of the total imports were agrifood products, which constituted 85.14% and 52.43% of the volume and value of Iran’s total non-oil trade with EEU respectively.
The Preferential Trade Agreement between Iran and Eurasian Economic Union came into effect on Oct. 27.
“The agreement is a prelude to free trade with Eurasia. Preparations for free trade with the bloc will begin after one year of implementation, following which there will be a two-year window to conclude negotiations," Hamid Zadboum, the head of Trade Promotion Organization of Iran, told Fars News Agency on Sunday.
Iran and EEU are looking to substantially increase trade. The two sides signed a three-year provisional agreement in Astana, Kazakhstan, on May 17, 2018, for the bloc to welcome Iran into EEU.
The average tariff set by the union on Iranian goods as part of the agreement stands at 3.1%, while the figure is 12.9% for EEU goods exported to Iran.
Iran and EEU have listed 862 types of commodities in their provisional agreement, based on which Iran will enjoy easier export terms and lower customs duties on 502 items and the same goes for 360 items from EEU member states.
“Of the 862 items mentioned in the agreement, 639 are industrial commodities and the remaining 223 items are agricultural goods,” Mohammad Reza Karbasi, the deputy head of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agricultures, was quoted as saying by ICCIMA’s news portal.