EghtesadOnline: Iran and the Commonwealth of Independent States traded $1.5 billion worth of goods during the first half of the current Iranian year (March 20-Sept. 21).
A total of $692 million worth of commodities were exported from Iran to the CIS in H1, according to Behrouz Olfat, an official with the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran.
He noted that the volume of export saw a decline compared with the similar period of last year, without specifying it.
“Iran’s exports to Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Moldova experienced an increase while shipments to Georgia, Turkmenistan, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan declined,” ILNA quoted the official as saying.
“The decline in exports is due to the new coronavirus pandemic, conflicts between the two neighboring countries of Azerbaijan and Armenia, as well as harsh US economic sanctions.”
H1 imports from CIS member states dropped by a 2% to stand at close to $811 million, according to the official.
“Only a slight increase was seen in imports from Russia and Ukraine which are the countries from where we import some of our essential agricultural products.”
Iran’s oil exports have not been taken into account in calculating the above trade figures.
The Commonwealth of Independent States, also known as the Russian Commonwealth (in order to distinguish it from the Commonwealth of Nations), is a political and economic intergovernmental organization of nine member states, all of which are former Soviet Republics located in Eurasia (primarily in Central to North Asia), formed after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Iran’s non-petroleum total foreign trade stood at 62.84 million tons worth $30.34 billion in H1, indicating 28% decline in value compared with the corresponding period of last year.
According to Mehdi Mirashrafi, the head of the 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 such, the country’s trade deficit stood at $3.22 billion over the period.
Compared with the corresponding period of last year (March 21-Sept. 22, 2019), exports and imports registered a 35% and 21% decline 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 Iran during the six-month period to Sept. 21, which accounted for 27.3% of Iran’s total exports,” Mirashrafi said.
“It was followed by Iraq with 9.28 million tons worth $2.97 billion and a share of 21.9% of Iran’s exports, the UAE with 7.16 million tons worth $1.93 billion and a share of 14.2%, Afghanistan with 3.33 million tons worth $1.1 billion and a share of 8.1% and Turkey with 1.44 million tons worth $731 million and a share of 5.3% from Iran’s total exports. Overall exports to these five countries amounted to $10.44 billion and accounted for 72% of Iran’s exports in terms of weight and 74% in terms of value.”
Top five exporters to Iran in H1 were China with 1.59 million tons worth $4.29 billion and a share of 25.6% of Iran’s total imports, the UAE with 2.11 million tons of non-oil goods worth $3.96 billion and a share of 23%, Turkey with 2.4 million tons worth $1.81 billion and a share of 10.8%, India with 1.26 million tons of non-oil goods worth $1.09 billion and a share of 6.5% and Germany with 772,000 tons of goods worth $835 million and a share of 5%. These countries exported a total of 8.16 million tons of non-oil goods worth $12 billion to Iran, accounting for 53% of Iran’s total imports in terms of weight and 70% in terms of value.
According to a report by 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).