EghtesadOnline: Iran’s 21 major commercial ports loaded and unloaded a total of 28.65 million tons of commodities during the first three months of the current Iranian year (March 20-June 20) to register a 27.86% decline compared with the similar period of last year.
The decline comes amid tough economic sanctions reimposed on the Islamic Republic by the United States, the effects of which have been further complicated by the worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus and the subsequent decline in global trade.
According to figures published in the Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran's website, non-oil goods accounted for 18.99 million tons of the total throughput (66%), showing a 33.72% fall year-on-year.
The remaining 9.66 million tons pertained to oil products, indicating a 12.71% decline YOY.
Container loading and unloading decreased by 30% to stand at more than 342,915 TEUs.
More than 11.78 million tons of commodities were exported from the ports under review and over 8.36 million tons were imported, registering a 35.59% and 0.47% decline respectively YOY.
A total of 605,828 tons of goods were transited through the Iranian ports during the same period, indicating a 48.68% decrease YOY.
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 the 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 on the Caspian Sea shoreline.
More than 139.65 million tons of commodities were loaded and unloaded at the aforementioned ports during the last Iranian year (March 2019-20) to register a meager rise of 0.17% compared with the corresponding period of last year.
Non-oil goods accounted for more than 95.48 million tons of the total throughput, showing a 0.08% year-on-year growth.
The remaining 44.16 million tons pertained to oil products, indicating a 0.7% increase YOY.
Around 69.65 million tons of commodities were exported from the ports under review and more than 31.15 million tons were imported during the period, showing a 10.28% and 13.92% growth respectively compared with the similar period of last year.
A total of 788,484 passengers were transported to and from these ports, registering an 86.62% plunge compared with last year’s similar period.
Shahid Rajaee Remains Busiest Port
A total of 13.24 million tons of commodities were loaded and unloaded in Hormozgan Province’s Shahid Rajaee Port, registering a 27.11% fall compared with the similar period of last year.
This made Shahid Rajaee the country’s busiest port during the period as in previous reports. Non-oil goods accounted for around 6.55 million tons and oil products for more than 6.68 million tons of the total, showing a 45.19% decline and a 7.76% rise respectively year-on-year.
Located 23 kilometers west of the port city of Bandar Abbas, the capital of Hormozgan Province, Shahid Rajaee is Iran’s biggest container port.
Over half of Iran’s commercial trading is carried out at Shahid Rajaee that also accounts for over 85% of all container throughput in the country.
According to Mohammad Reza Rezaei-Kouchi, the head of Majlis Development Commission, Shahid Rajaee Port has a 6% share in the region’s total container throughput per annum, ILNA reported.
Imam Khomeini: Hub of Essential Goods Imports
Imam Khomeini Port in the southern Khuzestan Province was the second busiest port during the three-month period, handling more than 9.28 million tons of commodities. The figure shows a 17.18% fall YOY.
Non-oil goods accounted for 6.99 million tons and oil products for close to 2.29 million tons of the total throughput at Imam Khomeini Port, registering a 4.99% and 40.5% fall respectively year-on-year.
Imam Khomeini Port is the main hub for the import of essential goods in Iran.
Also known as necessity goods, essential goods are products consumers will buy, regardless of changes in income levels.
According to Adel Deris, director general of Khuzestan Province’s Ports and Maritime Organization, a total of 25.09 million tons of essential goods worth close to $15.5 billion were imported into Iran during the last fiscal year (March 2019-20) to register a 20.77% and 17.13% increase in weight and value respectively compared with the year before.
Imam Khomeini Port, Deris told IRNA, possesses 40 wharfs and 140 kilometers of railroads within its premises, as well as the latest loading and unloading facilities.
Last year (March 2019-20), some 3 million tons of goods were transported from this port using around 53,000 wagons.
Close to 90% of Iran's demand for livestock feed raw material as well as 79% of grains are imported through this southern port.
Imam Khomeini Port enjoys 120 kilometers of railroads within its premises.
A total of 922,000 tons of commodities were transported via rail from Imam Khomeini Port to different destinations across the country from March 20 to June 20, which shows a 29% increase in the volume of transported goods compared with the similar period of last year, according to the director general of the South Railroad General Bureau.
“More than 260,000 tons of this amount pertained to grains, indicating a 126% hike YOY,” Abdolkarim Darvishzadeh was also quoted as saying by the news portal of the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development.
The main goods transported via railroad over the three-month period were essential goods, including corn, wheat, oilcake, charcoal and aluminum sheets.
Iran's Largest Island Ranks Third
The third busiest was Qeshm, also in southern Iran. A total of 1.12 tons of goods were loaded and unloaded there, indicating a 42.37% decline compared with the similar period of last year.
Non-oil goods accounted for more than 1.09 million tons and oil products for 27,231 tons of the total throughput in Qeshm, showing a 42.59% and 31.8% decrease respectively YOY.
Qeshm is the largest island in Iran. It is located a few kilometers off the southern coast of Persian Gulf, opposite the port cities of Bandar Abbas and Bandar Khamir. The island, which hosts a 300-square-kilometer free zone, is 135 km long and lies strategically near the Strait of Hormuz, just 60 kilometers from the Omani port of Khasab and about 180 kilometers from the UAE port Rashid.