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Iran's Trade Dropped Dramatically In January Compared With 2019

FILE - A Panamanian tanker docks at the platform of the oil facility in the Khark Island, on the shore of the Gulf, March 12, 2017

Iran’s trade with its main partners dropped dramatically in January 2020 compared with last year when U.S. sanctions on oil exports were only partial.

India’s Ministry of Economy on March 3 issued its January trade report, which shows imports from Iran dropping by 97 percent compared with January 2019. Last year, India imported $1.2 billion of oil and goods from Iran on average monthly, while this January it dropped to $33 million.

A major part of this decrease is oil purchases, which came to a halt last May when the United States stopped offering exemptions to Iran’s major oil buyers.

At the same time, India exported $234 million of goods to Iran, establishing a seven-fold trade surplus.

Trade with Japan also reveals a similar picture. In January Japan’s imports and exports with Iran was just $6 million dollars each way. A year ago, Japan imported $300 million of mostly crude oil and goods each month on average from Iran and its exports amounted to $60 million.

South Korea is not much different from Japan, with $15 million of imports and just $751,000 of exports to Iran in January. Last year these figures were $330 million and $190 million respectively.

China has not issued its January figures yet, but in 2019 its trade with Iran dropped by 36 percent compared with 2018.

Turkish imports from Iran have dropped five-fold reaching a low of $118 million in January, but its exports have remained unchanged at $217 million.

The other major regional trading partners, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates have not issued any figures for 2019 and 2020.

Iran stopped issuing any economic and trade figures in March 2019, and periodically selected numbers are announced unofficially.