Iran forecasts $7 billion fall in annual imports
Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 19 / Trend F.Mehdi/
Iran's annual imports is foreseen to be reduced by around $7 billion in the next Iranian calendar year, which begins on March 21, 2013, the Mehr News Agency quoted Iranian deputy industry minister Hamid Safdel as saying.
Annual imports have varied between $55-60 billion in recent years, he said, adding that the value of imports is expected to decrease by $4-5 billion.
Iran's non-oil imports fell by over $4.7 billion during the first nine months of the current Iranian calendar year, compared to the corresponding figure for the same period in the previous year, according to the Iranian Customs Administration data.
Although non-oil exports rose by $462 million, but the figure has sharply dropped due to the international sanctions by the U.S. and Europe against the Islamic Republic.
The sanctions have diminished Iranian oil exports to around 800,000 barrels per day from about 2.5mbpd in the beginning of the year.
Iran conducted $71.2 billion in trade of non-oil goods with other countries during the 9-month period, Fars News Agency quoted Iranian Customs Administration Director Abbas Memarnejad as saying on Dec.28, 2012.
Iraq, China, the United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, and India were the top importers of Iranian goods during the period, while the United Arab Emirates, China, Turkey, South Korea, and Switzerland were the leading exporters of goods to Iran, Memarnejad said.
He added that Iran is currently conducting trade with 151 countries. He referred to liquefied propane, urea, methanol, and cement as the major exported goods and iron and steel ingots, wheat, and soy meal as the main imported ones.
In early 2012, the United States and the European Union imposed new sanctions on Iran's oil and financial sectors with the goal of preventing other countries from purchasing Iranian oil and conducting transactions with the Central Bank of Iran.
The U.S. sanctions entered into force on June 28, while EU bans on Iranian oil imports came into force on July 1.
In October, the EU approved another major package of economic sanctions on Iran.