Iran’s Non-Oil Exports Grow by 40% in 11-Month Period despite Sanctions

Iran’s Non-Oil Exports Grow by 40% in 11-Month Period despite Sanctions

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s non-oil exports surged in the last Persian calendar year of 1400 (ended on March 20) on account of burgeoning trade with leading partners, especially China, amid the sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic by the United States.

Exports in the 11 months of 1400 rose by 40% to $43.5 billion from $31.1 billion a year before, data from the Iranian ministry of industry, mining and trade (IMT) showed.

Imports in the period grew 35.6% to $46.5 billion from $34.3 billion.

The boom in non-oil exports suggested that the government’s de-facto oil substitution initiative in order to blunt US sanctions targeting Iran’s oil industry and cushion economy against the impact of the oil market volatility is gaining traction.

It also showed that China has become Iran’s key ally in countering the US sanctions. Longstanding trade relations between the two countries have deepened since the US imposed economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic in November 2018.

Tehran and Beijing signed a 25-year economic and security cooperation agreement in March 2020 to comprehensively improve relations and raise them to the level of strategic partnership.

Last year, China took in 29% of Iran’s non-oil goods worth $12.6 billion, up 56% from $8.1 billion in the previous Persian year, the IMT figures showed. The world’s biggest exporter of goods accorded Iran the third highest positive trade balance at a value of $1.5 billion in the period.

Iran, however, posted its largest trade surplus with neighboring Iraq worth $7.1 billion. The Arab country, Iran’s second biggest trade partner, imported $8.2 billion of Iranian goods in the period, up 20% from the year before.

Iraq imports a wide range of goods from Iran, including food, agricultural products, home appliances, air conditioners and car parts. The country also relies on Iran for natural gas that generates as much as 45% of its electricity. Iran transmits another 1,000 megawatts directly to its southwestern neighbor.

Turkey was the third importer of non-oil Iranian goods worth $5.6 billion, the figures showed. Iran’s exports to the country in the period rose 151% from $2.2 billion in the previous year.

The UAE imported $4.2 billion of Iranian goods, almost unchanged from the year before. It posted the biggest trade surplus against Iran worth $10.3 billion during the period.

Afghanistan, Iran’s fifth largest trade partner, imported $1.6 billion of Iranian goods, down 21% from the previous year. The Taliban’s sudden sweep to power in August curtailed exchange of goods between the two countries.

China, Iraq, Turkey, the UAE and Afghanistan - the top five trading partners– collectively accounted for 74.3% of Iran's non-oil exports.


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