Iran’s trade surplus positive for 1st time in 37 years

The latest official figures show that Iran’s trade surplus for a period of 12 months starting 21 March 2015 turned positive for the first time in almost 37 years.

Iran’s Customs Administration said in an announcement on Saturday that the country had a trade surplus of $916 million over the aforementioned period.

It said the total value of exports stood at $42.4 billion against $41.4 billion in imports. Both figures indicated a decrease of respectively 16 percent and 23 percent compared to the same period the previous year.

The volume of exports stood at 93.5 million tons while the volume of imports stood at 35.7 million tons indicating a decrease of 7 percent and 18 percent, respectively.

The main import items have been livestock corn, wheat, soybean, rice and soybean meal.  The main export items have been gas oil, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), liquid propane and tar.

The Customs Administration figures further show that there has been a drastic drop of 52 percent in exports of condensate.

The leading importers of Iranian products over the period under study were China, Iraq, the UAE, Afghanistan and India.  China’s imports of Iranian products saw a drop of above 23 percent while the UAE and Afghanistan increased imports from the Islamic Republic.

The leading exporters of products to Iran were China, the UAE, South Korea, Turkey and Switzerland. Imports from China were lower by 18 percent compared to March 2014-2015.

Iran’s imports of automobiles plunged by a whopping 50 percent in quantity and 42 percent in value.

Figures show the country had spent $1.2 billion on imports of cars over the period under study. This is while it had spent $2.1 billion on imports of cars the year before.