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Iran-U.S. Trade Jumps Sixfold In July

Iran -- Iranian workers walk near containers at the Kalantari port in the city of Chabahar, May 12, 2015

The trade turnover between Iran and the United States rose 600 percent year-on-year in July, a month before the implementation of the first round of Washington’s sanctions on Tehran, targeting mostly the industrial and financial sectors.

According to statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau on September 6, Iran increased exports to the United States by about 657 percent on the year to $25 million in July and imported $35.7 million from the country, which indicates growth of about 420 percent.

July’s trade turnover shares about 40 percent of Iran-U.S. total trade during the first seven months of the current year, which stood at $155.5 million.

U.S.-Iran trade turnover (million $)

U.S.-Iran trade turnover (million $) 2017 vs.2018
U.S.-Iran trade turnover (million $) 2017 vs.2018

Iran’s exports mostly include Persian carpets, dried fruit, pistachios, etc. It imports mostly medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, and agricultural products from the United States.

Recently, Washington imposed sanctions on imports of Persian carpets from Iran. Traders had apparently attempted to purchase and import as many products as possible before the implementation of sanctions on August 6.

In total, Tehran exported $60.2 million to the United States and imported $95.5 during January-July, which shows a $35.2 million positive balance in favor of the United States.

The trade balance has been positive in favor of the United States since 2008.

The second round of U.S. sanctions on Iran, which mostly targets oil exports, will come into force on November 4.

Iran’s Non-oil Foreign Trade

According to the latest official statistics released by the Trade Promotion Organization, Iran’s total non-oil exports during the first four months of its fiscal year (March 21-July 22) increased 14.7 percent year-on-year to $15.45 billion.

Iran includes gas condensate, butane, propane, and other crude hydrocarbons in the non-oil export basket. Almost a third of what Iran’s official statistics consider “non-oil exports” are crude hydrocarbons.

It also imported $15.18 billion products (excluding gasoline) during this period, which indicates a 4 percent decline.

The country’s non-oil exports to the EU grew 12 percent to $462 million, while its imports from the continent declined 16 percent to $2.86 billion.

China is Iran’s No. 1 trade partner, sharing about 23 percent of Iran’s total non-oil trade turnover. It is also Iran’s biggest oil client.