EghtesadOnline: Some $30 million worth of non-oil goods have been exported to Iraq via Iran's Khorramshahr Port since the beginning of the current Iranian year (March 20), an official with Arvand Free Trade Zone said.
“Since Shalamcheh border crossing has been closed, exports to Iraq are made via sea,” IRNA also quoted Ali Mousavi as saying on Monday.
Major goods exported to Iraq include construction materials, foodstuff, fruits and vegetables.
Exports from Khorramshahr Port to Iraq will continue until Shalamcheh border crossing is reopened, he added.
The land border was closed on March 7 due to the coronavirus outbreak.
After more than 50 days, Iraqi officials have voiced readiness to reopen the Shalamcheh border crossing with Iran in the coming days.
As Mehr News Agency reported, deputy director of the Shalamcheh border crossing in Iraq’s Basra Province, Adnan Abdullah, told Iraqi media that after joint meetings with the Coronavirus Combat Headquarters of the country, it has been decided that the Shalamcheh border be reopened in the coming days.
He further said vehicles and trucks are expected to be disinfected in a healthcare center at the border crossing.
Abdullah expressed hope that the two countries could resume their trade after preventive measures against coronavirus are completed.
Seyyed Hamid Hosseini, a member of the Presiding Board of Iran-Iraq Chamber of Commerce, has reportedly said Iraqi officials also promised to reopen Mehran border crossing soon.
Located 15 km away from Khorramshahr and 20 km from Basra, Shalamcheh is the most prominent land border crossing point in Iran's Khuzestan Province for trade.
Iraq is the biggest destination of Iranian exports among its neighboring countries.
After the spread of the new coronavirus, Iraq closed all its land borders with Iran and trade between the two countries was restricted to border crossings with the Kurdish region as well as sea routes.
Shalamcheh, Chazzabeh and Khosravi land borders remain closed for commercial exchanges.
Yet, Iran's crossings into the Iraqi Kurdistan (Tamarchin, Parvizkhan, and Bashmaq) have been open all along.
Notably, sending trucks to border crossings of Parvizkhan and Bashmaq has been banned until further notice due to the long lines of trucks waiting there to cross into the Iraqi Kurdistan.
Hosseini said in April that between 700 and 800 trucks carrying Iranian goods cross the Iraqi Kurdistan border from Iran per day.
Khorramshahr Port is situated in the northwest of Persian Gulf, southwest of Iran and southeast of Iraq (Shalamcheh land border) at the confluence of Arvand and Karoun rivers in Khuzestan Province.
Khorramshahr is an inland port city located approximately 10 kilometers north of Abadan.