EghtesadOnline: A total of 14.37 million tons of essential goods worth $8.8 billion were imported into Iran during the first seven months of the current Iranian year (March 21-Oct. 22), showing a respective growth of 25% and 95% compared with the similar period of last year, according to the technical deputy of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration.
“Imports of wheat increased by 15%, barley by 91%, different kinds of oilseeds by 56%, vegetable oils by 170%, soymeal by 136% and pharmaceuticals by 3% year-on-year. Field corn was the only essential good that experienced a decline in import [19%],” Mehrdad Jamal Arvanaghi was also quoted as saying by Fars News Agency.
All the imported essential goods, he added, are entitled to subsidized foreign currency at the rate of 42,000 rials per dollar.
Also known as necessity goods, essential goods are products consumers will buy, regardless of changes in income levels.
Arvanaghi added that a total of 2.27 million tons of other goods worth close to $2.25 billion were imported during the same period, including rice (737,000 tons, up 27% YOY), sugar (81,930 tons, down 5% YOY), heavy vehicle tires (down 48%), fertilizers (down 34%), essential goods production machinery, veterinarian medicine and pesticides.
Imam Khomeini Port in the southern province of Khuzestan Province is the main hub of essential imports.
Imam Khomeini Port boasts 40 wharfs, 140 kilometers of railroads within its premises and is equipped with the latest loading and unloading facilities.
Most of Iran’s demand for livestock feed raw material and grains are imported through this southern port.
Shahid Rajaee, Amirabad and Nowshahr are other major ports of entry for essential goods.
Iran’s overall imports hit 23.5 million tons worth $27.7 billion during the seven months under review, registering an increase of 21% in weight and 38% in value compared with last year’s same period, according to IRICA Chief Mehdi Mirashrafi.
“Essential goods, machinery, industrial parts, raw materials and intermediate goods accounted for the lion’s share of imports,” he was quoted as saying by the news portal of IRICA.
The main exporters to Iran were the UAE (6.9 million tons of goods worth $8.6 billion), China (1.9 million tons worth $6.1 billion), Turkey (2.5 million tons worth $2.9 billion), Germany (512,000 tons worth $1 billion) and Switzerland (1.2 million tons worth $1 billion.)
Cellphones, animal corn, wheat, soybeans, sunflower oil, soymeal, barley, rice, sugar and palm oil were the main imports during the period,
Fiscal 2020-21 in Review
A total of 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 spokesman noted that corn stood at 9.78 million tons worth $2.5 billion, soymeal 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 added.
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 nearly $841.23 million, more than 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,” the spokesman said.
He added 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 seeds of different kinds of plants worth $83.63 million.
Latifi concluded that a total of 76,716 tons of heavy vehicle tires worth $282.84 million were imported over the period under review.
According to IRICA, 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, $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.