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Russian Exports To Iran Continue To Grow Despite Decline In Tehran's Trade

Imported goods at Iranian port.
Imported goods at Iranian port.

According to the latest figures released by Russia's Federal Customs Service (FTS) it exported $692 million worth of goods to Iran from January to May, which indicates a 31 percent growth in comparison with the same period last year.

In the first five months of 2019 Russia's exports to Iran amounted to $528 million showing another 31 percent growth compared with the same period in 2018.

Russian exports to Iran have grown despite the drop in trade between Iran and its major partners such as China, India, Korea, Japan, Turkey and the European Union in 2019 and in the first five months of 2020.

During the same period, according to FTS figures, Iran exported goods worth $275 million to Russia from January to May which has remained the same in comparison with the same period in 2019 but 15 percent less than in 2018.

The figures released by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA) show a drop of 44 percent in Iran's overall exports in the first three months of the current Iranian calendar year (beginning March 31) in comparison with the same period last year.

The data provided by Iran's customs are only limited to Iran's non-oil exports. Since the United States imposed full oil sanctions Tehran does not release oil export data.

The value of Iran's non-oil exports in this period amounted to $6.36 billion while imports worth $7.6 billion also show a drop of 27 percent. The drop in imports has not helped the trade balance which is now in the negative.

The drop in Iran's exports has increased the pressure on the country's currency reserves which in turn has contributed to the devaluation of the national currency rial against the dollar and other major currencies.

Due to U.S. sanctions, Iran's oil revenues dropped from $100 billion a few years ago to $8 billion.

The crisis in the FOREX market since June has been unprecedented in recent years. Authorities blame the coronavirus pandemic for the crisis. The Governor of the Central Bank of Iran, Abdolnaser Hemmati, has claimed that the crisis is short-lived and promised improvement.