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Iran's Non-Oil Exports Decline 11 Percent, Putting More Pressure On Economy

Iranian merchants conduct their business at a carpet market of the old main bazaar in Tehran, Iran, Monday, July 23, 2018.

Iran’s Fars news agency, close to the Islamic Revolution guards Corps reports that non-oil exports have dropped 11.3 percent in the first seven months of the Iranian calendar year, March 21-October 21, compared with same period last year.

Fars has based its report on figures obtained from Iran’s customs organization, saying that total non-oil exports in this period amounted to $27.5 billion. Iran’s imports also had a more than 5 percent drop and totaled $26.6 billion.

Iran’s non-oil exports are crucial for the country, given U.S. sanctions on its oil exports, which have slashed last year’s $60 billion crude sales to negligible amounts.

However, according to these figures, Iran still had around a one-billion-dollar trade surplus, because of consecutive drops in imports in recent months.

Iran’s main exports destinations were China, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Afghanistan.

The Fars report does not mention any shifts in exports to each of these countries, but last year’s figures already showed exports to main trading partners declining.

The biggest exporters to Iran were China, UAE, Turkey, India and Germany.

During the last Iranian year (March21, 2018-March 20, 2019) Iran’s exports reached $107 billion, including $60 billion in oil exports. After May, however, the United States imposed a total ban on Iran’s oil and petrochemicals’ exports, wiping out most of that income.