Iran’s non-oil foreign trade during the first half of the current Iranian year (started March 21) stood at $44.13 billion, indicating a 6% rise compared with last year's corresponding period.
According to the latest report by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration, non-oil exports during the period hit 58.63 million tons worth $20.54 billion, indicating a 3.2% decline year-on-year.
Non-oil imports amounted to 17.19 million tons worth $23.59 billion, up 15.37% YOY. Increased imports of cars, auto parts, capital goods and some basic goods are the main reasons behind the rise in imports.
Petrochemicals ($7 billion), followed by gas condensates ($3.52 billion), polyethylene ($750 million), liquefied propane ($686 million), light crude oil, excluding gasoline ($638 million), and methanol ($593 million) were the main exported commodities.
Imports mainly included rice ($996 million), field corn ($799 million), vehicles of engine displacement between 1500cc and 2000cc ($582 million), auto parts ($551 million), soybean ($456 million).
China was the main customer of Iranian products during the six-month period, as Iran exported $4.31 billion worth of goods to the Asian country, 7% more than the corresponding period of last year.
Other major export destinations included Iraq with $3.18 billion, the UAE ($2.95 billion), South Korea ($2.06 billion) and India ($1.33 billion). Exports to Iraq and South Korea rose by 5.47% and 12.86 respectively compared to last year, but the UAE and India imported 17.1% and 6.52% less goods from Iran in H1 over last year’s same period.
Major exporters to Iran included China ($5.69 billion), the UAE ($4 billion), Turkey ($1.67 billion), South Korea ($1.51 billion) and India ($1.35 billion).
The average price of each ton of exporting goods stood at $350, posting a 1.16% rise over last year's corresponding period and the average price of each ton of importing commodities hovered around $1,372, up 6.85% year-on-year.
Iran's 15 neighboring countries accounted for $9.9 billion of Iran's $20.54 billion non-oil exports in H1, which is more than 48%.
Iraq topped the list of neighboring countries’ imports from Iran during the period, with $3.2 billion. The UAE and Afghanistan followed with $3 billion and $1.26 billion worth of imports from Iran respectively.
Among the neighbors, Qatar and Russia saw the highest growth in imports from Iran (71% and 70%, respectively).
The growth in exports to Qatar comes as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have severed diplomatic ties and cut land, sea and air links with Doha since June. Iran and Turkey have stepped in to supply the Qatari market.
Qatar's imports from Iran stood at $91 million during the period under review. Iran's exports to Russia amounted to $123.6 million in the same period.