EghtesadOnline: The Export Guarantee Fund of Iran, the country's state-owned export credit agency, issued more than $3.5 billion in export guarantees in the last fiscal year ending March 20.
It said it set the record despite mounting US pressures on Iran's economy and its economic blockade to disrupt Iran’s foreign trade.
"The figure was 35% higher than the year before and the highest since the fund was founded 50 years ago," a press release on the EGFI website said.
Established first in 1973, the EGFI was recreated in 1994 as a legally and financially independent entity 100% state-owned and affiliated to the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade. The fund helps boost Iran’s non-oil exports by covering political and commercial risks of conducting trade and issues credit guarantees to help companies meet their financial commitments.
It has reported considerable growth in demand for export credit during the first two months of 2021 creating optimism about further growth in coverage in the coming months. The fund had issued a record $3.2 billion in guarantees in 2008. EGFI's payouts amounted to $5.1 million in the last Iranian year.
The fund says it managed to cover 10% of Iran's non-oil foreign trade in the previous fiscal year, whereas in the year before it was 6.4%.
Iran’s foreign non-oil trade stood at 145.7 million tons worth $73 billion in the last fiscal year. Exports accounted for 112 million tons worth $34.52b and imports were 4.4 million tons worth $38.5b.
Main exports included gasoline, natural gas, polyethylene, propane and pistachio. The main export destinations were China with 26.6 million tons worth $8.9b, Iraq 25.6 million tons worth $7.3b, the UAE 15.2 million tons worth $4.6b, Turkey 6.3 million tons worth $2.5b and Afghanistan 7 million tons worth $2.2b. The five countries imported more than 80 million tons of non-oil goods worth $25.7b.
Apart from higher penetration, EGFI said it devised support packages to curb the impact of the US sanctions and mitigate the destructive impact of the coronaviruses on foreign trade.
Iran’s export sector has been hit hard by the deadly virus as many border crossings were closed due to the Covid lockdowns.