EghtesadOnline: More than $5.3 billion out of Iran’s overall $13.56 billion worth of non-oil exports (around 40%) during the first half of the current Iranian year (March 20-Sept. 21) headed to neighboring Arab countries, the director general of Trade Promotion Organization of Iran's Arab and African Countries Affairs Department said.
“Iraq with $2.97 billion was the top export destination among neighboring Arab states, making it the second biggest export destination during the period in the world,” Farzad Piltan was also quoted as saying by ILNA.
The UAE with $1.93 billion, Oman with $165 million, Kuwait with $73 million, Qatar with $62 million and Bahrain with $3 million followed.
No exports were dispatched to Saudi Arabia in H1.
The official added that imports from neighboring Arab countries during the same period stood at $4.23 billion. Iran’s overall import in H1 reached $16.78 billion.
The UAE with $3.96 billion was the biggest exporter among the group of countries under review.
It was followed by Oman with $200 million, Iraq with $43 million, Kuwait with $3 million, Qatar with $2.4 million and Bahrain with $100,000.
No imports were recorded in H1 from Saudi Arabia.
Piltan noted that due to the proximity of Arab countries to Iran, which reduces transportation costs, suitable port facilities, cost-effective marketing, lower expenses of taking part in exhibitions and many common aspects of culture, religion and sometimes language, TPO aims to expand trade with the Arab countries of the region.
Iran’s overall non-oil trade with other countries stood at 62.84 million tons worth $30.34 billion in H1, indicating a 28% decline in value compared with the corresponding period of last year.
According to Mehdi Mirashrafi, the head of Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration, H1 non-oil exports accounted for 46.31 million tons worth $13.56 billion and imports constituted 16.52 million tons worth $16.78 billion of the total trade figure.
As a result, the country’s trade deficit stood at $3.22 billion over the period under review.
When compared with the corresponding period of last year (March 21-Sept. 22, 2019), exports and imports saw a decline of 35% and 21% in value.
Iran’s foreign trade stood at $42.16 billion during the same period of last year, with exports hovering around $20.94 billion and imports at $21.22 billion.
Gasoline was the country’s top exported commodity in H1 followed by polyethylene, polyethylene terephthalate, methanol and urea.
China was Iran’s main export destination, with 13.11 million tons worth $3.7 billion of imports from us during the six-month period to Sept. 21 to account for 27.3% of Iran’s total exports.
China was also the biggest exporter to Iran in H1 with 1.59 million tons worth $4.29 billion.
According to a report by the Persian-language daily Donya-e-Eqtesad, Iran’s non-oil exports and imports during the month ending Sept. 21 stood at $2.66 billion and $3.08 billion, indicating a 21% and 10% increase month-on-month respectively.
Exports weighed 8.31 million tons and imports at 3.44 million tons during the month under review (the sixth month of the current Iranian year).
Essential goods made up 70% of Iran’s imports and the rest included raw materials, machinery and production components, according to the IRICA chief.
Also known as necessity goods, essential goods are products consumers will buy, regardless of changes in income levels.
Amid high inflation and lower purchasing power, the Iranian government has sought to ensure a steady supply of essential goods at subsidized prices.
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.
This amount of essential goods’ imports accounted for close to 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, fertilizers and industrial machinery,” he said.
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, enjoys 40 wharfs and 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.