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With Huge Decline In Oil Sales Iran's Exports Drop Dramatically

The Iranian oil tanker Fortune is anchored at the dock of El Palito refinery near Puerto Cabello, May 25, 2020

Customs statistics of Iran's major foreign trade partners show a significant drop in their transactions with the Islamic Republic in the first five months of 2020.

Since early 2019, Iran's customs has stopped publishing its monthly reports and provides only general statistics on the country's exports and imports of non-oil goods.

The latest general figures released by Iran's customs show that last winter the country's non-oil exports decreased by about 35% compared with the winter of 2018 and reached $ 8 billion. In the following two months , the country's non-oil exports continued to fall by 48 percent to $ 4.3 billion.

Meanwhile, statistics from Iran's main partners show both oil and non-oil imports in detail, giving away some more facts and figures.

China's customs statistics show that the country imported $ 2.7 billion from Iran in the first five months of 2020, down 62 percent from a year earlier.

During this period, Iran exported an average of 82,000 barrels of oil per day (BPD) to China, down 87 percent from the same period last year. The value of Iran's oil exports to China from January to May also totaled $ 607 million, down 84 percent from the previous year. China's exports to Iran are almost unchanged.

India’s figures show that in the first four months of the year, exports to Iran fell by 43% to $ 971 million.

The picture was even worse with imports from Iran, which fell from $2.84 billion in 2018 to just $100 million in 2020. The main reason for the huge drop was no purchases of oil after the United States put a total ban on Iran’s crude exports.

Meanwhile, official Japanese statistics show that in the first five months of 2020, it imported just $ 17 against $ 1.155 billion last year. Lack of oil purchases was again the reason.

Another major trade partner of Iran, South Korea, has also released figures for the past five months, showing a four-fold drop in its exports to a mere $ 75 million. However, its imports from Iran, which were more than $ 2 billion in the first five months of last year, is less than $ 5 million in the same period this year.

The latest report from the Turkish Statistics Center shows that its imports from Iran fell from $ 2.2 billion in the first four months of 2019 to nearly $ 300 million in the same period this year. Its exports to Iran dropped from $ 920 to $ 526 million.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts that Iran's total exports will reach $ 46 billion this year, i.e., less than half of 2018.

Iran's imports will be $ 64.6 billion, and for the first time, the country's foreign trade balance will be negative, IMF forecasts show.

Iran's foreign trade balance in the first months of 2020 has been detrimental with all the countries mentioned, meaning that their exports to Iran have been much higher than their imports.