EghtesadOnline: Iran’s exports to Iraq have declined due to the recent political unrest in the neighboring country, the secretary-general of Iran-Iraq Chamber of Commerce said.
Hamid Hosseini added that Iran exported $750 million worth of goods to Iraq per month prior to the unrest, which declined to $540 million in the Iranian month ending Nov. 21.
He put the total volume of Iran's non-oil exports to Iraq at $5.71 billion since the beginning of the current fiscal year (March 21), IRNA reported.
Hosseini noted that Iran’s exports to Iraqi Kurdistan Region have been continuing without any problem, according to Financial Tribune.
According to Sheikh Mustafa Abdul Rahman, chairman of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region's General Union of Importers and Exporters, bilateral trade between Iran and Iraqi Kurdistan stands at $6 billion per year.
In an earlier interview with IRIB News, he said 80% of Iranian companies use the Kurdistan Region to enter Iraqi markets, adding that 800 trucks carry Iranian goods and products to Iraq daily.
According to Chairman of Trade Promotion Organization of Iran Hamid Zadboum, the value of Iranian exports to neighboring Iraq is one-fourth of the Arab country’s total imports.
“Iran holds 25% of the Iraqi import market, as the value of Iranian goods makes up $10 billion of the total of $40 billion in import into Iraq [per year],” he was quoted as saying by ILNA.
Highlighting efforts to increase Iran’s share in the Iraqi market, Zadboum said the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran has for the first time dispatched a commercial attaché to the Iraqi city of Basra.
“Iran has the potential to register a big rise in the volume of exports to Iraq,” he added, citing the difficult trade conditions caused by the US sanctions.
The official expressed optimism that Iran is expected to gain a larger share of Iraq’s import market by next year.
Iran and Iraq have nine border crossings, of which five are currently open and active.
Last Iranian year's (March 2018-19) data show Iran and Iraq traded 19.84 million tons of non-oil goods worth $9.01 billion 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, 9.67 million tons of mineral products were exported from Iran to the neighboring country last year.
According to Hosseini, Iran's mineral exports to Iraq last year mainly included non-precious metals worth $1.13 billion, which experienced a 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.
Latest data provided by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration show Iraq was the second biggest destination for Iran's non-oil products during the first half of the current Iranian year (March 21-Sept. 22) after China.
Iraq imported $4.66 billion worth of non-oil goods from Iran during the period, accounting for 22.26% of Iran’s overall exports.