EghtesadOnline: The Export Price Index, an indicator measuring the overall change in the prices of exported goods and services, (using the year ending March 2017 as a base year), stood at 625.6 in the first quarter of the current Iranian year (March 20-June 20) in rial terms, registering a 28% increase compared with the quarter before and an 88.8% rise compared with the same quarter of the year before.
According to data released by the Statistical Center of Iran, the average EPI during the four-quarter period leading to June 20 witnessed an 84.9% growth year-on-year.
The three-month period also saw EPI stand at 124 in dollar terms, registering a decrease of 1.2% and 3.4% over the preceding quarter and the corresponding quarter of the year before.
The average EPI in dollar terms during the four quarters leading to June 20 witnessed a 7.8% decline year-on-year.
The Import Price Index, an indicator measuring the overall changes in prices of imports of merchandise into a country (using the year ending March 2017 as a base year), stood at 3,623 in Iran in Q1 in rial terms, registering a 67.7% increase compared with the previous quarter and a 407% rise compared with the same quarter of the year before.
According to SCI data, the average IPI during the four quarters leading to June 20 witnessed a 347% growth year-on-year.
The three-month period saw IPI stand at 198.8 in dollar terms, registering a 10.8% increase quarter-on-quarter and a 37.2% rise year-on-year.
The average IPI in dollar terms during the four quarters leading to June 20 witnessed a 33.2% growth year-on-year.
Iran’s non-oil foreign trade stood at $13.98 billion during the first three months of the current fiscal year (March 20-June 20), of which exports accounted for $6.36 billion and imports for $7.62 billion, according to Mehdi Mirashrafi, the head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration.
Iran exported over 21.92 million tons of non-oil goods worth $6.36 million during the period to register a decline of 43.98% in value and 45.12% in weight compared with the corresponding period of last year.
Q1 imports weighed over 8.92 million tons worth $7.62 billion, posting a decrease of 26.76% in value and 0.78% in tonnage year-on-year.
The country posted a trade deficit of $1.26 billion over the first quarter of the current year.
Noting that the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted economic activity around the world, the official said the decline in exports in recent months is to blame on the outbreak of coronavirus and closure of borders, although exports have begun to get back to normal since mid-June.
"Gasoline, natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, polyethylene and other light oils were Iran’s main exports while field corn, wheat, cellphones, semi-milled rice and unsalted soybeans were Iran's major imports during the period,” Fars News Agency quoted the IRICA chief as saying.
Gasoline exports worth $698 million accounted for 10.97% of the overall exports during the three-month period.
In late May, Iran sent five oil tankers, namely Forest, Fortune, Petunia, Faxon and Clavel, carrying 1.53 million barrels of gasoline all under the flag of Iran to Venezuela despite US sanctions.
Q1 exports of natural gas were worth $367 million (with a share of 5.77%), liquefied petroleum gas $265 million (4.16%), polyethylene $241 million (3.79%) and other light gas exports were worth $187 million (2.93%).
Oil-driven products and byproducts as well as petrochemical products are included in IRICA's "non-oil" export data. In fact, petrochemicals and gas condensates constitute the biggest share of total exports.
Q1 imports of field corn stood at $588 million with a share of 7.72% of overall imports; wheat at $537 million with 7.05%; cellphones at $358 million with 4.7%; semi-milled or wholly milled rice worth $205 million with 2.69% and soybeans at $170 million with a share of 2.23% from total imports.
China was Iran’s main export destination in Q1, with $1.84 billion worth of non-oil imports during the three-month period to account for 28.91% of Iran’s total exports.
It was followed by Iraq with $1.48 billion and a share of 23.4% of Iran’s exports, the UAE with $967 million and a share of 15.2%, Afghanistan with $499 million and a share of 7.8% and Turkey with $250 million and a share of 4% in Iran’s total exports. Exports to China, Iraq, Afghanistan and Turkey dropped by 28%, 37.06%, 6.9% and 88.8% compared with last year’s similar period while exports to the UAE improved by 8.5% YOY.
Exports to other countries with a share of 21% of Iran’s total exports fell by 52.5% to stand at $1.31 billion.
Top exporters to Iran were China with $1.93 billion and a share of 25.4% of Iran’s total imports, the UAE with $1.7 (22.3%), Turkey with $815 million (10.7%), India with $529 (7%) and Russia with $421 million (5.5%).
Imports from China, Turkey and India respectively decreased by 1,834%, 36.1% and 57.8% compared with last year’s same period while imports from the UAE and Russia improved by 8.5% and 43.22% respectively YOY.
Q1 imports from other countries with a share of 29.1% of Iran’s total exports plunged by 39% YOY to stand at $2.23 billion.