Iran exports down on falling dollar value
Iran's non-oil exports between March and September rose in tonnage by more than 21 percent but dropped in worth due to the declining value of the US dollar, Press TV reported.
According to the Iranian Customs Office's latest statistics, the country's imports were more than double the value of exports in the first two quarters of the current Iranian year (March-September 2009).
Non-oil exports, including gas condensates, dropped by more than 15 percent to $11.3 billion. Imports were also down by more than 21 percent, to $23.6 billion.
However, both exports and imports rose in terms of tonnage by 21 percent and 11 percent, respectively.
The average price for each metric ton of exports fell to about $438, reflecting a 24 percent drop compared to the same period last year, mainly due to the declining value of the dollar.
The US currency has lost 10 percent of its value during the past six months. The US Dollar Index, a six-currency gauge of the dollar's value, slipped in late September to its lowest level in more than a year.
Steel, fuel and wheat were Iran's major imports between March and September.
Iran plans to cut off its reliance on fuel imports by constructing new refineries and modernizing the existing ones. However, the country still imports about 33 percent of its gasoline consumption.
On October 1, the US House of Representatives approved a legislation to punish companies that export gasoline to Iran, in a move to mount pressure on the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program.
Iraq, China and the UAE were the biggest importers of Iranian goods, while Iran had the largest imports from the UAE, Germany and China.