EghtesadOnline: A total of 20.32 million tons of essential goods worth $12.43 billion were imported into Iran during the first eight months of the current Iranian year (March 21-Nov. 21), registering a 30% and 62% rise in weight and value respectively compared with the similar period of last year, according to the spokesperson of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration.
“The essential goods imports accounted for 75% and 38% of the tonnage and value of total imports during the eight months under review,” Rouhollah Latifi was also quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.
A total of 26.5 million tons of goods worth $32 billion were imported into Iran during the eight months under review, registering a 38% and 21% increase in weight and value respectively.
Also known as necessity goods, essential goods are products consumers will buy, regardless of changes in income levels.
The official noted that seven types of goods weighing 17.84 million tons and valued at $9.87 billion were imported using subsidized foreign currency at the rate of 42,000 rials per dollar.
These commodities included 6.15 million tons of corn worth $2.11 billion, 1.37 million tons of unrefined and edible vegetable oils worth $1.76 billion, 13,844 tons of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment worth $1.47 billion, 4.29 million tons of wheat worth $1.45 billion, 1.88 million tons of oilseeds worth $1.31 billion, 1.78 million tons of soybean meal worth $983.09 million and 2.35 million tons of barley worth $685.02 million, registering a respective rise of 32%, 259%, 34%, 118%, 83%, 151% and 123% in value compared with the corresponding period of last year.
Latifi noted that 2.48 million tons of the imported essential goods, worth $2.56 billion were purchased using the currency available at the secondary foreign exchange market, locally known as Nima.
Nima is an online platform affiliated to the Central Bank of Iran where exporters sell their overseas currency income and companies buy it for importing goods, machinery, equipment and raw materials. Nima rates are closer to the market rate that is hovering above the 300,000 mark these days.
A total of 838,990 tons of rice worth $713.02 million up 16% YOY in value), 887,510 tons of unrefined sugar worth $384.47 million (down 15% YOY in value), 28,247 tons of essential goods production and processing machinery worth $287.18 million (down 1% YOY in value), 52,788 tons of heavy vehicle tires worth $190.66 million (up 12% YOY in value), 146,504 tons of fertilizers worth $100.36 million (down 12% in value), 7,106 tons of pesticides and insecticides worth $60.25 million (up 26% YOY in value), 264 tons of veterinarian medicines worth $31.75 million (down 26% YOY in value) and a total of 518.18 tons of other goods, mainly including red meat, different kinds of pulses and tea, worth $791.94 million (showing no significant YOY change) were imported using Nima rates.
Imam Khomeini Port in the southern province of Khuzestan Province is the main hub of essential imports.
Imam Khomeini Port boasts 40 wharfs and 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 and grains are imported through this southern port.
Shahid Rajaee, Amirabad and Nowshahr are other major ports of entry for essential goods.
Fiscal 2020-21 in Review
A total of 23 million tons of essential goods worth $12 billion were imported during the last Iranian year (March 2020-21), according to the IRICA spokesman.
“The lion’s share of this volume amounting to 13.44 million tons worth $3.74 billion pertained to livestock and poultry feed. This accounted for 58% and 31% of the weight and value of last year’s total essential goods imports respectively,” Latifi was also quoted as saying by IRNA.
The official 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.
“About 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 $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,” the IRICA spokesman said
“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 chemical fertilizers worth $153.08 million, 9,074 tons of chemical pesticides and insecticides worth $86.27 million and 6,019 seeds of different kinds of plants worth $83.63 million.”
A total of 76,716 tons of heavy vehicle tires worth $282.84 million were also 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.