Sharp rise in Iran’s foreign trade
Iran Customs Administration's reports suggest that the country's non-oil foreign trade has been increased significantly during last two months.
The country's exports have been reportedly more than its imports in the mentioned period.
Iran's exports in the mentioned period were around $8.154 billion, which is 30 percent more than the same time span previous year.
The country's imports also stood at $7.688 billion, which shows a 35-percent increase compared to previous year.
Iran's fiscal year starts on March 20 and Custom's report covers a period from March 20 to May 20.
According to the Iran Customs Administration, Tehran's exports were a little more than $6 billion in the first two months of previous year, which was around 2 percent less than its preceding year. The country's imports were also $5.7 billion in the first two months of last year, some 33 percent less than its preceding year.
So, Iran's non-oil trade shows a significant increase even in comparison to the period of time before the international sanctions were imposed on the country in mid-2012.
A boost in exports of sanctioned items
The latest report of Iran Customs Administration records a significant rise in the exports of items that were put under sanctions by the West, including liquid gas (LPG), petrochemical products, and gas condensates.
LPG is a kind of liquid gas which includes propane and butane. Gas condensates are also a kind of light and expensive oil, extracted for gas fields.
The west countries eased some sanctions imposed on Iran in November 2013 due to interim nuclear accord.
Based on the report, exports of liquefied propane and liquefied butane amounted to $375 million and $247 million in the last two months, respectively.
Last year, exports of liquefied propane and liquefied butane stood at $137 million and $144 million, respectively. In other words, Iran's LPG exports increased by 2.2 times year-to-year.
The report also indicates that Iran exported $3.03 billion worth of gas condensates and $1.991 billion worth of petrochemicals in the first two months of the current year.
According to the Custom's report, Iran exported $1.239 billion worth of gas condensates and $1.717 billion worth of petrochemicals in the corresponding period last year.
In other words, Iran's gas condensate exports were increased by 2.4 times. Exports of petrochemicals have also increased to some extent.
Gas condensates and petrochemicals account for half of Iran's non-oil exports.
Major goods imported
Wheat, vehicles equipped with internal combustion piston engines of 1000-1500cc, oil cake, rice, and unrefined soy oil were the major goods imported, worth $495 million, $263 million, $340 million, $235 million, and $172 million, respectively.
Imports of vehicles equipped with internal combustion piston engines of 1000-1500cc had a considerable 7.5-time rise compared to the 2-month period in the past year. After the six-month interim nuclear agreement in Geneva, sanctions on the Iranian automotive sector were suspended.
Dalga Khatinoglu is specialist on Iran's energy sector and Iran News Service head in Trend Agency