EghtesadOnline: Over 10 million tons of essential goods worth $4.7 billion have been cleared from Iran's customs terminals in the first five months of the current Iranian year (March 20-Aug. 21).
“There are currently 3.32 million tons of essential goods and 3.4 million tons of non-essential, non-containerized goods, including manufactured goods and machinery, at the ports of Imam Khomeini, Shahid Rajaee, Anzali, Amirabad, Shahid Bahonar, Bushehr, Chabahar, Khorramshahr, Nowshahr, Fereydounkenar and Astara. Nearly 28,000 import containers full of both essential and non-essential goods are piled up at country’s ports, particularly at Shahid Rajaee Port,” Mehrdad Jamal-Arvanaqi, an official with the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration, told IRIB News recently.
Also known as necessity goods, essential goods are products consumers will buy, regardless of changes in income levels.
Amid high inflation and diminished purchasing power, the Iranian government has sought to ensure a steady supply of essential goods at subsidized prices.
Imam Khomeini Port in the southern Khuzestan Province is the main hub for the import of essential goods in Iran. The port, according to Adel Deris, director general of Khuzestan Province’s Ports and Maritime Organization, possesses 40 wharfs, 140 kilometers of railroads within its premises and is equipped with the latest loading and unloading facilities.
Close to 90% of Iran's demand for livestock feed raw material as well as 79% of grains are imported through this southern port.
A total of 25.09 million tons of essential goods worth $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.
This amount of essential goods’ imports accounted for 71% and 35% of the volume and value of last year’s total imports respectively, according to the IRICA spokesman.
“The imported essential commodities included wheat, sugar, corn, rubber, barley, processed tea, rice, different kinds of seeds, red meat, soybeans, pulses, paper, chemical fertilizers and industrial machinery,” Rouhollah Latifi was also quoted as saying by ISNA.
According to Mehdi Mirashrafi, the head of Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration, Iran's overall imports during the five months under review stood at 13.8 million tons worth $13.7 billion.
When compared with the corresponding period of last year (March 21-Aug. 22), imports registered a 22.7% decline in value.
Essential goods, raw materials and machinery constituted 85% of total imports during the five-month period.
Top five exporters to Iran were China with 1.33 million tons worth $3.55 billion and a share of 25.9% from Iran’s total imports, the UAE with 1.7 million tons of non-oil goods worth $3.18 billion and a 23% share, Turkey with 2 million tons worth $1.47 billion and a 10.7% share, India with 1.1 million tons of non-oil goods worth $941 million and a 6.8% share, and Germany with 548,000 tons of goods worth $661 million and a 4.8% share.