EghtesadOnline: Trade between Iran and EU member states during January-February stood at €787.66 million to register a 9.17% increase compared with the similar period of 2019, latest data provided by the European Statistical Office show.
Germany, Italy and the Netherlands were Iran’s top three trading partners in the European bloc during the period under review with bilateral exchanges standing at €307.04 million, €121.82 million and €90.2 million respectively.
Iran’s transactions with Luxembourg (€426,596), Slovakia (€2.85 million) and Croatia (€1.03 million) increased by 542.34%, 291.45% and 183.83% respectively year-on-year, marking the highest among EU states.
Trade with Malta (€1,536), Ireland (€2.64 million), Sweden (€5.94 million), Greece (€2.49 million) and Finland (€1.68 million) saw the sharpest declines of 88.86%, 82.9%, 75.51%, 68.63% and 65.2% respectively.
The United Kingdom officially withdrew from the European Union on January 31. The UK’s withdrawal, known as Brexit, began a transition period that is set to end on Dec. 31, during which the UK and EU will negotiate their future relationship.
The UK remains part of the EU customs union and single market during the transition, but is no longer part of the EU's political bodies or institutions. Hence, trade with the UK is not included in this report that covers data on the current 27 EU members.
Eurostat is a directorate of the European Commission located in Luxembourg. Its main responsibilities are to provide statistical information to EU institutions and promote the harmonization of statistical methods across its member states and candidates for accession.
The organizations in different countries that cooperate with Eurostat are summarized under the concept of the European Statistical System.
Exports Increase 43%
Iran exported €165.65 million worth of commodities to the EU during the period, indicating a 43.68% rise compared with the similar months of the previous year.
The main export destinations over the period were Germany (€49.71 million), Italy (€29.96 million), the Netherlands (€29.28 million), Spain (€17.94 million) and Belgium (€9.56 million).
Iran’s exports to Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Finland experienced the highest year-on-year growth rates of 1,134.19%, 872.94% and 304.8% respectively.
This is while exports to Greece, Austria and Latvia fell by 63.91%, 61.76% and 57.63% YOY respectively, which are the sharpest among EU member states.
Imports Grow Over 2%
Imports from the EU increased by 2.61% to stand at €622 million during the months under review.
The top five exporters from the European bloc to Iran were Germany with €257.33 billion, Italy with €91.85 million, the Netherlands with €60.92 million, France with €39.69 million and Belgium with €34.87 million worth of shipments to Iran.
Slovakia with €1.32 million, Bulgaria with €28.69 million and Luxembourg with €124,478 were the EU countries whose exports to Iran saw the highest YOY increase (526.89%, 315.47% and 196.84% respectively).
Ireland with €2.5 million, Sweden with €3.73 million and Finland with €954,776 experienced the sharpest YOY decline in exports to Iran (83.76%, 83.19% and 79.57% respectively).
1st INSTEX Deal Completed
Europe and Iran have completed their first transaction under a complicated barter system set up to sidestep US sanctions on the Islamic Republic, DW reported late last month.
Germany's Foreign Ministry said the creation of the so-called INSTEX mechanism has enabled the export of medical devices from Europe.
The ministry, speaking on behalf of Germany, France and the UK, said the mechanism would allow many other transactions to proceed.
The system was devised more than a year ago after Washington reimposed biting sanctions on Iran's oil industry following its unilateral withdrawal from the landmark 2015 nuclear deal between six world powers and Tehran.
European firms had no option but to cease trading with Iran and cancel joint-venture projects for fear of being impacted by US penalties.
Partial Trade Ties Maintained
INSTEX aims to at least partially maintain trade and thereby save the nuclear agreement.
Transactions can now be carried out via INSTEX, a protective shield that ensures that no money directly changes hands.
Under the nuclear agreement with the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany, Iran committed in 2015 to limit the scope of its nuclear program.
In return, many sanctions were lifted and trade with Tehran was promoted.
The US withdrew from the deal in May 2018 and a year later, Iran began to gradually move away from its obligations under the agreement.
Tehran's struggle to bring the virus' spread under control has been made more difficult by the US sanctions.