EghtesadOnline: A total of 13.8 million tons of commodities were loaded and unloaded in Iran’s commercial ports during the first 40 days of the current Iranian year (March 20-April 30).
The throughput shows a 2.2% rise compared with the similar period of last year, data recently released by the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development show.
Container shipping stood at 1.72 million tons, solid and liquid bulk cargo transport at 4.41 million tons and 410,000 tons respectively, general cargo at 1.8 million tons and oil products at 5.5 million tons.
The ministry data take into account the throughput of Iran’s southern ports of Abadan, Imam Khomeini, Bushehr, Khorramshahr, Genaveh, Bandar Lengeh, Arvandkenar, Charak, Chavibdeh 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.
Shahid Rajaee: Iran’s Biggest Container Port
Located 23 kilometers west of the port city of Bandar Abbas, the capital of Hormozgan Province, Shahid Rajaee Port is Iran’s biggest container port.
Container loading and unloading in Shahid Rajaee Port in the southern Hormozgan Province reached a total of 126,850 TEUs during the first month of the current Iranian year (March 21-April 20), showing a 12% rise compared with the similar period of last year, according to director general of the province’s Ports and Maritime Organization.
“Container exports over the period hit 42,000 TEUs, indicating a 59% year-on-year rise,” Alireza Mohammadi Karajiran was quoted as saying by the news portal of the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development.
The official noted that container transit over the same period stood at 20,231 TEUs, registering a 160% surge compared with the corresponding period of last year.
Karajiran added that during the month, a total of 158 container vessels entered the southern port and the figure showed a rise, without specifying the amount.
Essential Goods Stocks
A total of 4,154,980 tons of essential goods imported at the subsidized foreign currency rate of 42,000 rials per US dollar, including wheat, corn, oilseeds, soybean meal and unprocessed vegetable oils, have arrived at Iranian ports and customs, Mehrdad Jamal Orounaqi, an official with the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration, said on Wednesday.
Also known as necessity goods, essential goods are products consumers will buy, regardless of changes in income levels.
“Of the total sum, 3,089,585 tons or more than 74% have been offloaded at Imam Khomeini Port in Khuzestan Province, which commodities belong to 50 importers,” he was quoted as saying by Fars News Agency.
Boasting 40 wharfs, 140 kilometers of railroads within its premises and equipped with the latest loading and unloading facilities, Imam Khomeini Port located in southwest Iran is the hub of essential goods imports.
Close to 90% of Iran’s demand for livestock feed raw material as well as 79% of grains are imported through this southern port.
In the fiscal 2019-20, the port handled nearly 15.7 million tons of essential goods.
“A total of 1,816,513 tons of goods have undergone customs procedures at Imam Khomeini Port while 1,273,054 tons have yet to be declared. Seven vessels carrying 199,196 tons of corn, soybean meal, raw vegetable oils and oilseeds are going through unloading procedures and eight cargo ships carrying 480,299 tons of soybean meal, corn, wheat and barley are waiting to dock at the port,” Orounaqi said.
Noting that owners of subsidized imports are required to complete customs clearance procedure at an accelerated pace, the official said, “The volume of essential goods to be discharged from Imam Khomeini Port is expected to increase from 25,000 tons to 60,000 tons per day.”
More than 1 million tons of essential goods were imported via Imam Khomeini Port using roads and railroads in the first month of the current Iranian year (March 21-April 20), registering a 17% growth compared with the same period of last year, according to Director General of Ports and Maritime Affairs of Khuzestan Province Adel Deris.
Essential goods transported from the port included wheat, barley, corn, oilseeds, soybean meal, sugar, rice and edible oils.
The port saw the inauguration and sod-turning ceremonies for 18 investment and development projects worth a total of 15.79 trillion rials ($70 million) on Dec. 30.
The event was attended by Eslami and CEO of the Ports and Maritime Organization Mohammad Rastad, Fars News Agency reported.
Among the most important inaugurated projects were four multipurpose warehouses, oil product reservoirs and a mechanized grain terminal.
Also, two projects for the construction of edible oil refineries were launched on the same day.
Other projects were the overhauling of some of the wharfs and railroads inside the Imam Khomeini Port premises, dredging operations, fixing breakwaters and providing lighting.
CBI Allocates Cheap Currency
The Central Bank of Iran allocated $1.4 billion for the subsidized import of essential goods over the two-month period from Feb. 1 to April 20, Shiva Ravoshi, an official with the central bank, told IRIB News.
“These resources are part of the financial resources allocated in the budget law for the first six months of the current fiscal year [started March 21]. Of the allocated figure, $900 million have been supplied to importers. Provision of foreign currency means that importers have purchased the sum of foreign currency and the central bank has allowed the payment from the account of sellers,” she said.
The budget law has approved the allocation of $6 billion for the subsidized import of essential goods at the rate of 4,200 rials per dollar in the first six months of the current Iranian year.
According to First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri, imports of pharmaceuticals and medical devices needed by the Health Ministry will receive $1.5 billion of the sum and the rest will be given to Agriculture Ministry and the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade for importing essential items, IRNA reported.
Over 23 million tons of essential goods worth $12 billion were imported into Iran during the last Iranian year (March 2020-21), according to the spokesperson of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration.
“The lion’s share of this sum amounting to 13.44 million tons worth $3.74 billion pertained to livestock and poultry feed. This volume accounted for 58% and 31% of the weight and value of last year’s total essential goods imports respectively,” Rouhollah Latifi was also quoted as saying by IRNA.
The official added that corn stood at 9.78 million tons worth $2.5 billion, soy cake for 1.82 million tons worth $793.94 million and barley for 1.83 million tons worth $457.32 million.
“Some 2.34 million tons of oilseeds worth $1.25 billion, in addition to 1.14 million tons of refined edible, semi-solid, liquid and unprocessed oils worth $1.06 billion, were imported during the period under review,” he said.
The imports also included 14,798 tons of human medicine as well as medical equipment worth $1.64 billion and a total of 451,000 tons of livestock and poultry medicines worth $64.16 million.
“Our food imports also included 936,809 tons of rice worth $868.53 million, 3.02 million tons of wheat worth $841.23 million, 1.01 million tons of unrefined sugar worth $370.66 million, 64,822 tons of dried tea leaves worth $329.12 million, 175,260 tons of different kinds of pulses worth $144.04 million, 30,487 tons of frozen or cold heavy livestock meat worth $133.27 million, 9,801 tons of butter worth $51.46 million and 4,422 tons of warm light livestock meat worth $29.17 million,” Latifi said.
The IRICA spokesman noted that imports of essential goods for industrial purposes and production mainly consisted of 51,415 tons of industrial machinery worth $510.8 million, 207,583 tons of different types of paper worth $190.1 million, 231,064 tons of paper pulp worth $181.06 million, 252,204 tons of fertilizers worth $153.08 million, 9,074 tons of pesticides and insecticides worth $86.27 million and 6,019 plant seeds worth $83.63 million.
Latifi concluded that a total of 76,716 tons of heavy vehicle tires worth $282.84 million were imported during the period under review.
According to Mehdi Mirashrafi, the head of Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration, Iran imported 3.5 million tons of essential goods worth $9.7 billion from China, 5 million tons worth $9.6 billion from the UAE, goods worth $4.3 billion from Turkey, 2.2 million tons worth $2.1 billion from India and 1.2 million tons worth $1.8 billion from Germany in the year to March 20.
Iran’s total foreign non-oil trade stood at 145.7 million tons worth $73 billion in the fiscal 2020-21.
Exports accounted for 112 million tons worth $34.52 billion and imports constituted 34.4 million tons worth $38.5 billion of the sum.
According to Mojgan Khanlou, a senior official with the Plan and Budget Organization, the government is allowed to gradually discontinue the allocation of subsidized forex for importing essential goods during the first half of te fiscal 2021-22.