Iran’s foreign trade hits new high in volume terms despite US sanctions

Press TV – Head of Iran’s customs office has made a statement about the general situation of foreign trade in the past Persian calendar year, saying the volume of exports and imports stood at a record high despite US sanctions imposed on the country.

Mehdi Mirashrafi said on Saturday that the overall weight of shipments exported from Iran and imported into the country in the 12-month period ending March 12 had exceeded 170 million tons.

Mirashrafi said the value of annual trade between Iran and other countries also topped $85 billion, adding that the figure was a major achievement for a country that was under the harshest of sanctions imposed by the United States.

Earlier this week, the customs office published figures related to the 11-month trade between Iran and other countries ending in late February.

The statistics showed that imports into Iran had increased 2.31 percent year on year on February 19 to top $40 billion. They also showed that exports from Iran had decreased by 4.48 percent to stand at $38.5 billion at the end of the period.

That comes as the United States has sought to totally block Iran’s access to hard currency through a series of harsh bans on its trade of crude and lucrative metals.

Iran’s oil exports have decreased since Washington enacted its sanctions in November 2018.

However, trade of metals as well as the petrochemical products have surged in a blow to the bans as Iran uses alternative routes to send shipments to the customers or offers them more favorable conditions.

Various petrochemical products, minerals and metals as well as agri-food currently account for a bulk of Iran’s exports to other countries.