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EghtesadOnline: The Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration has registered a record in recent months.

According to IRICA Spokesman Rouhollah Latifi, 5.3 million tons of goods worth $6.5 billion underwent customs clearance in the sixth month of the current fiscal year (Aug. 23-Sept. 22). 

This is while the total volume of cleared goods during the first five months of the year (Mar. 21-Aug. 22) stood at 2.7 million tons worth $3.3 billion, IRNA reported. 

The official noted that exports (excluding crude oil exports) in the seventh month of the year (March 21-Oct. 22) grew 6% year-on-year in terms of value to hit $5.27 billion.

Transit of foreign goods through Iran hit a three-year high of 1.14 million tons in the eighth month of the year (Oct. 23-Nov. 21). The figure is higher than the total transit volume in the fiscal 2020-21.

Latifi said the total volume of transit in the first eight months of the current Iranian year stood at 8.1 million tons that is estimated to reach 12.4 million tons by the end of the year (March 2022).

Latest trade statistics provided by IRICA show Iran traded a total of 110.3 million tons of goods (excluding oil exports) worth $63.1 billion during the eight months to Nov. 21, registering a 43.5% and 40% year-on-year growth in weight and value respectively.

Exports stood at 83.7 million tons worth $31.1 billion, 10.5% and 42% more in terms of weight and value respectively YOY.

Petrochemical exports with 39.8 million tons worth $13.3 billion had the biggest share in exports, accounting for 47% of total weight and 43% of total value of exports.

China with 19.3 million tons worth $9.1 billion, Iraq with 21.6 million tons worth $6.1 billion, Turkey with 11.3 million tons worth $3.8 billion, the UAE with 7.3 million tons worth $2.9 billion and Afghanistan with 3 million tons worth $1.27 billion were the top five export destinations. 

Imports stood at 26.5 million tons worth $32 billion, registering a 38% and 21% increase in weight and value respectively.

Top five exporters to Iran were the UAE with 8 million tons worth $10.1 billion, China with 2.2 million tons worth $7.2 billion, Turkey with 2.7 million tons worth $3.2 billion, Germany with 549,000 tons worth $1.2 billion and Switzerland with 1.3 million tons worth $1.1 billion, respectively.



Record High Import of Essential Goods 

Essential goods with 20.3 million tons worth $12.4 billion had the biggest share in imports, accounting for 75% of total weight and 38% of total value of imports.

Also known as necessity or basic goods, essential goods are products consumers will buy, regardless of changes in income levels. 

The tonnage and value of basic imports during the period registered a 30% and 62% rise respectively compared with the similar period of last year.

IRICA says 17.8 million tons worth $9.9 billion of imports during the period were purchased at subsidized rates.

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 soymeal 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.

A total of 2.48 million tons of imported essential goods, worth over $2.56 billion, were purchased using the currency available int the secondary foreign exchange market, known locally 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 chemical 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 (showing no significant YOY change) million were imported using Nima rates.

Imam Khomeini Port in the southern province of Khuzestan Province is the main hub of essential imports. The port boasts 40 wharfs, 140 kilometers of railroads within its premises and 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.



GTC Record

The Government Trading Corporation has imported a record high of 6.2 million tons of essential goods since the beginning of the current Iranian year on March 21, director general of GTC’s Foreign Trade Coordination Department said recently.

“The essential goods were imported through Iran’s southern and northern ports with 294 vessels, which figure also marks a record,” Masoud Raygan was also quoted as saying by IRNA.

He added that the import volume is expected to rise to 10 million tons by the fiscal yearend (March 20, 2022). 

“We imported more than 4.22 million tons of wheat, 1.01 million tons of unrefined [edible] oil, 684,000 tons of unrefined sugar and 252,000 tons of rice during the period. These shipments have already been unloaded at our ports of entry and are currently either stored in warehouses or have been distributed to the market across the country’s 31 provinces,” he said.

The official noted that Imam Khomeini Port in Khuzestan Province accounts for 42% of the essential imports, Shahid Rajaee Port in Hormozgan Province 32%, Chabahar in Sistan-Baluchestan Province 14%, Amirabad and Nowshahr ports both in Mazandaran Province 6% each and Bushehr Port in the southern Bushehr Province 1%.

“Amirabad and Nowshahr ports each hosted 91 vessels, Imam Khomeini 49, Shahid Rajaee 43, Chabahar 16 and Bushehr 4,” he added.

GTC, affiliated with the Agriculture Ministry, is the lever for enforcing market controls and maintaining a supply of wheat, rice, cooking oil, sugar and meat for the country’s strategic reserve of essential goods.