Kurdistan Region: Iran’s Main Export Gateway to Iraq
EghtesadOnline: About 8.1 million tons of goods worth $3.8 billion were exported from Iran to Iraq through the Iraqi Kurdistan Region during the last fiscal year that ended on March 19, according to the spokesman of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration.
“Exports account for 42% of Iran’s total exports to Iraq in terms of value and for over 31% in terms of tonnage during the period under review,” Rouhollah Latifi was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.
Parvizkhan border crossing had a share of more than 3 million tons worth $1.4 billion, followed by Bashmaq with $1.12 billion and Tamarchin border crossing with $754 million.
“Iran exported more than 25.68 million tons of goods worth $8.99 billion to Iraq last year. The country exported over 870,000 tons of goods worth $259 million to Iraq through the Iraqi Kurdistan Region during the first fiscal month [March 20-April 19],” Latifi added.
Iraq is the biggest destination of Iranian exports among its neighboring countries.
After the spread of coronavirus, Iraq closed all its border crossings with Iran and trade between the two countries was restricted to border crossings with the Kurdish region.
However, on Thursday, Mehran border crossing reopened, IRNA reported quoting Omar al-Waeli, the head of Iraq's Border Ports Authority.
According to the official, the border is open for commercial exchanges for two days each week, taking health protocols into account.
Located in Ilam Province, Mehran has for long been the busiest border between Iran and Iraq.
There is no other crossing open between Iran and Iraq at the moment. That is to say, Shalamcheh, Chazzabeh and Khosravi frontiers remain closed for commercial exchanges.
Yet, Iran's crossings into the Iraqi Kurdistan (Tamarchin, Parvizkhan, and Bashmaq) have been open all along.
The border crossings of Parvizkhan and Bashmaq have banned trucks until further notice due to the long lines of trucks waiting there to cross into the Iraqi Kurdistan, according to Mohsen Yazarlou, a local official in Golestan Province.
SecretaryGgeneral of Iran-Iraq Chamber of Commerce Hamid Hosseini said last month that 700-800 trucks carrying Iranian goods cross the Iraqi Kurdistan border from Iran per day.
Biggest Exporter to Iraq in Fiscal 2018-19
Iran was the biggest exporter to Iraq in the fiscal 2018-19, according to Industries Minister Reza Rahmani.
"This is the first time Iran tops the list of exporters to neighboring Iraq … We need to keep this status using our full potential, as our rivals Turkey and China trail closely behind the Islamic Republic," the minister was quoted as saying by IRNA.
Islamic Republic of Iran's Customs Administration's data show Iran exported $8.9 billion worth of non-oil goods to Iraq during the fiscal 2018-19, which were 37% more compared to the year before.
Iraq was the second biggest export destination for Iranian non-oil products after China with $9.3 billion.
Iran's total non-oil exports during the period stood at $44.31 billion to register a 6% decline in value year-on-year.
This means non-oil exports to Iraq accounted for more than 20% of Iran's total non-oil exports in the year to March 19.
Iran's imports, on the other hand, from Iraq are meager.