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Iran’s Exports To EU Drop Sixteen Fold As Europe Stops Buying Iranian Oil

IRAN -- Security guards with their sniffer dogs patrol in front of a cargo ship during the inauguration ceremony of the newly built extension in the port of Chabahar on the Gulf of Oman, southeastern Iran, near the Pakistani border, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017

Based on the latest official figures released by the European Union, the amount of Iranian exports to the EU in the first two months of 2019 have dropped sixteen folds compared with the same period in the previous year.

Meanwhile, the value of the EU export to Iran also decreased nearly to one-third of what it was in January-February 2018.

The statistics published on the official website of the statistical office of the European Union, Eurostat, also reveal that the value of products the Islamic Republic exported to the EU was only 136 million euros (approximately $152 million).

Import and export from Iran to the European Union(In Millions of Euros) Eurostat
Import and export from Iran to the European Union(In Millions of Euros) Eurostat

The same source also reveals that before the United States’ withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers in May 2018, the value of Iranians export to the EU in the first two months of the same year amounted to more than 2.2 billion euros (approximately $2.5 billion).

However, the dramatic drop in Iranian exports to EU was in line with expectations, since 90% of it was crude and energy-related products. European countries stopped buying oil from the Islamic Republic in mid-2018.

The United States imposed financial and industrial sanctions on Tehran in August 2018, followed by bans on its oil exports and banking sector in November.

In the meantime, the value of the EU exports to Iran also dropped to 621 million euros ($695 million) in January-February 2019, while in the same period last year it amounted to 1.56 billion euros (roughly $1.75 billion).

According to the European Commission official figures, the 28-member union exported 8.9 billion euros (approximately $9.9 billion) to Iran in 2018, about 17.6 percent less than 2017, while their imports from Iran declined 4 percent year-on-year to 9.72 billion euros (approximately $10.86 billion).

The details of the statistics point to the fact that Iranian exports to the EU started

to plummet in mid-2018, as most European clients stopped buying crude from Iran.

The value of EU's imports from Iran amounted to 9.72 billion euros (roughly $10.855 billion) in 2018, or 4% less than 2017.

Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, and Greece are the leading European trade partners of the Islamic Republic, respectively.

The latest statistics show that exports and imports between each of these individual countries and Iran have also sharply dropped in the first two months of the current year.

Germany, as the biggest trade partner of Iran, lost almost half of its exports' value to the Islamic Republic in the first two months of 2019.

Nonetheless, the other major European trade partners of Iran lost more exports to the Islamic Republic than Germany.

Exports and imports from Iran to European countries (In millions of Euros) EuroStat
Exports and imports from Iran to European countries (In millions of Euros) EuroStat

Based on the EU statistics, France, Italy, Spain, and Greece used to buy Iranian crude up to mid-2018, which accounted for almost all of the imports from the Islamic Republic.

Iran Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO) recently reported that the value of Iran's imports from the EU in last Iranian calendar year (ended March 20, 2019) reached $9.82 billion, with nearly 22% drop compared with the previous year.

China, the United Arab Emirates, and the EU are now Iran's main trading partners, accounting for 19.5%, 16.8%, and 16.3% of Iran’s traderespectively. The EU used to be the first trading partner of Iran before the current U.S. sanctions regime was imposed on the Islamic Republic.