EghtesadOnline: Iran's overall non-oil foreign trade (excluding crude oil, mazut, kerosene and exports via suitcase trade) during the first nine months of the current Iranian year (March 21-Dec. 21) stood at $63.73 billion, says Seyyed Ruhollah Latifi, spokesman of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration.
“Exports stood at 103.58 million tons worth $31.9 billion, indicating an 18.5% growth in weight compared with the same period of last year,” he was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency, without mentioning changes in the value of exports.
“Imports reached 24.97 million tons worth $31.83 billion during the period.”
China, Iraq, Turkey, the UAE and Afghanistan were Iran’s main export destinations, according to Financial Tribune.
Exports to China constituted 24.87% of total exports in terms of tonnage and 11.01% in terms of value.
Turkey imported 13.82 million tons of non-oil goods worth $3.34 billion from Iran to account for 12.41% of Iran’s overall exports.
“The UAE and Afghanistan made up 10.48% and 5.48% of Iran’s total exports during the period respectively,” he said.
Top exporters to Iran during the same period were China, the UAE, Turkey, India and Germany.
The average price of each ton of imports was $1,275, posting a 6.82% year-on-year decrease.
Imports during the 30-day period ending Dec. 21 stood at 2.85 million tons worth $3.45 billion, as exports stood at 14.63 million tons worth $4.86 billion.
Rise in Essential Goods Imports
More than 16.5 million tons of essential goods, including corn, rice, oilseeds, vegetable oil, pharmaceuticals, barley, red meat, soybean meal, sugar, fertilizer and chicken were imported into the country during the nine-month period, indicating a 19% rise in weight and 15% increase in value year-on-year.
Customs clearance of imported essential goods via the "green channel" reached an all-time high in the month ending Dec. 21, says Mehrdad Jamal Arvanaqi, the deputy head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration.
In the same month, 51% of all declaration forms for essential goods were approved for clearance through the green channel with the least legal formalities compared with the previous months' 10%, the official was quoted as saying by IRNA.
A total of 25,943 tons of rice were cleared from customs in the month ending Oct. 22. In the following month, a total of 26,533 tons were imported while last month, a total of 103,288 tons of rice were cleared by customs, indicating a sixfold rise month-on-month.
The customs clearance of meat decreased from 17,976 tons in the month ending Oct. 22 to 10,721 tons in the month ending Nov. 21, but climbed to 18,046 tons last month.
Soybean oilcake’s customs clearance stood at 73,197 tons in the month ending Oct. 22 compared with 58,405 tons in the month ending Nov. 21. Last month, a total of 172,714 tons of soybean oilcake were cleared by customs.
A total of 613,749 tons of corn were cleared in the month ending Nov. 21 compared with 717,599 tons last month.
About 50,280 tons of chemical fertilizers were released from customs in the month ending Oct. 22 compared with 17,585 tons in the following month and 57,739 tons in the month ending Dec. 21.
A total of 54,000 tons of publication paper were cleared by customs in the month ending Oct. 22 compared with 52,547 tons in the month ending Nov. 21 and a total of 89,980 tons in the following month.
A total of 7,370 tons of pulses were cleared by customs in the month ending Oct. 22 compared with 9,598 tons in the month ending Dec. 21.
The customs clearance of oilseeds stood at 36,482 tons in the month ending Oct. 22, a total of 28,942 tons in the month ending Nov. 21 and a total of 67,465 tons in the following month.
238% Growth in Essential Goods Imports From Chabahar
A total of 498,376 tons of essential goods were imported from Chabahar Port in the nine-month period ending Dec. 21, registering a 238% growth compared with the same period of last year, the head of Roads and Transportation Department of Sistan-Baluchestan said.
“Eleven ships carrying essential goods, including wheat, rice, sugar and barley entered Chabahar Port during the period under review, posting an 83% increase [in the number of ships] year-on-year,” Ayoub Kord added.
The southeastern port of Chabahar is the safest and cheapest export and import corridor to countries like Afghanistan as well as those located in Central Asia, he was quoted as saying by News.mrud.ir.
Mohammad Ali Asl-Saeedipour, an official with Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran, said India is planning to invest $235 million in purchasing port equipment for Chabahar Port.
“Currently, the port’s facilities can load and unload a container ship at the rate of 20–25 containers per hour. With new equipment, cargo loading and unloading rate will move closer to global standards, i.e. 30 containers per hour. The Indian government has also decreased its port tariffs by 40% for trade via Chabahar,” he said.
Port Operations Record
More than 105 million tons of commodities were loaded and unloaded at Iran’s 21 commercial ports during the nine months to Dec. 21 to register a 1.1% rise compared with the corresponding period of last year.
Latest figures published by the Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran’s website show non-oil goods accounted for 71.81 million tons of the total throughput, showing a 0.76% year-on-year growth.
The remaining 33.83 million tons pertained to oil products, indicating a 1.77% increase YOY.
Container loading and unloading declined by 41.61% to stand at 998,820 TEUs.
More than 53.56 million tons of commodities were exported from the ports under review and close to 23.28 million tons were imported during the eight-month period, showing an 11.35% and 10.29% growth respectively compared with the similar period of last year.
A total of 3.09 million tons of goods were transited through these ports during the same period to register a 43.26% YOY decline.
The 21 ports under study include Iran’s southern ports of Abadan, Imam Khomeini, Bushehr, Khorramshahr, Genaveh, Bandar Lengeh, Chavibdeh, Arvandkenar, Charak and Dayyer located on the shores of Persian Gulf, Shahid Rajaee, Shahid Bahonar, Qeshm and Tiab at the mouth of the Strait of Hormuz, Jask and Chabahar on the coasts of the Sea of Oman and the northern ports of Fereydounkenar, Noshahr, Astara, Amirabad and Anzali bordered the Caspian Sea.