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As U.S. Sanctions Bite, Iran Fulfills Only 63% Of Non-Oil Export Target

An Iranian customer speaks with a bank clerk at the Export Development Bank of Iran in the capital Tehran on July 27, 2015. AFP PHOTO / BEHROUZ MEHRI

Iran could fulfill only 63% of its non-oil export target during its last fiscal year, Trade Promoting Organisation of Iran (TPO) announced.

Iran’s fiscal year (FY) ended March 20, 2019.

Iran had planned to export $54.9 billion non-oil products, but it managed only $39.375bn, about 1.35% less than the previous FY. Therefore, it can be argued that overall, Iran did not do so badly compared to the previous year but it failed its own high target, which became difficult to meet in an environment of tough U.S. sanctions.

The country’s oil and gas condensate also declined significantly during last year due to U.S. sanctions, but expected to shrink further as U.S. ended exemptions April 22 for Iran’s major clients.

TPO says the country’s total imports (excluding petroleum products and services) also declined 21.7% to $42.612 billion. The report didn’t mention the total export and import volume, but the International Monetary Fund released a report April 29 putting exports (including services) at $105.9 billion in 2018.

IMF’s estimate and forecast about Iran’s total exports and imports (billion US dollar) (Source:IMF)
IMF’s estimate and forecast about Iran’s total exports and imports (billion US dollar) (Source:IMF)

* IMF predicted 2019 and 2020 figures with this precondition that Iran would continue 950,000 barrel per day of oil exports (including natural gas), but U.S. sanctions demand customers to stop Iranian oil intake by May 1, 2019.

Share of products in Iran’s non-oil exports during last Iranian FY
CategoriesValue(Billion $)Y/Y changeVolume(Million tons)Y/Y Change
Carpet and handicraft0.3-34%0.01744%

Source: TPO. * Including raw hydrocarbons, like propane, butane, etc.


Iran’s non-oil exports to Europe declined by one third year-on-year to about $1 billion, while oil exports to the declined to 203,000 b/d during, about one third of the previous year.

European clients halted Iranian oil intake in mid-2018.

Iran’s oil export to EU during last Iranian fiscal year and 2018 (1000 b/d):
Iran’s oil export to EU during last Iranian fiscal year and 2018 (1000 b/d):

Almost all of EU’s oil imports from Iran was in the first half of 2018.

Europe’s total exports to Iran during last FY stood at $9.082 billion, about 22% less than the previous year.

Except Austria’s 64% growth in exports to Iran, all of Iran’s major European partners exported less to the country.

Other major partners, including China, UAE and Turkey also had fewer exports to Iran by 22%, 35% and 19% respectively, but Russia, Oman and India increased exports by 85%, 100% and 15%.

Trade with oil clients

U.S. had extended a 6-month wavier to eight countries in November 2018 to continue buying Iranian oil imports. Only five countries; China, India, South Korea, Japan and Turkey used their waivers.

However, official figures show all five countries significantly reduced their oil and non-oil imports from Iran and except India sold fewer goods to Iran.

Iran and five oil clients’ trade turnover in 2019 (million US dollar):
Oil ClientsPeriodExports to IranY/Y ChangeImports from IranY/Y change
China1Q 2019693.5-56.60%1505-32%
South Korea1Q 201999-83%1210-15.50%
Japan1Q 2019643-99%707-79%

Source: Oil clients’ custom statistics