Iran reports $118mln trade surplus for October-November

Iran’s customs office (IRICA) says the country’s balance of trade turned positive for the first time this calendar year in the month to late November.

IRICA spokesman Rouhollah Latifi said on Saturday that trade surplus with the rest of the world stood at 118 million for the period from October 21 to November 20.

Latifi said exports from Iran over the period had topped $3.21 billion while imports into the country reached $3.092 billion.

Iran exported nearly 10.250 million metric tons of goods over the period, said the official, adding that the total weight of goods imported reached 2.549 million tons.

The surplus comes as many countries trading with Iran have sought to ease border restrictions meant to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Iranian authorities say exports from the country would continue to grow in the months remaining until the end of the current calendar year in March 2021 as the country hopes it could post an annual trade surplus.

Iran has sought to strengthen its non-oil exports as sales of crude, once a staple of government finances, have stalled due to a series of American sanctions imposed since mid-2018.

Petrochemicals, metals and farming products have accounted for a bulk of shipments from Iran this year while major trade partners include China, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey.

IRICA figures released earlier this week showed that Iran had a trade deficit of $1.6 billion for the eight months to late November.

Iraq replaced China as the main importer of Iranian goods over the period with nearly $5.3 billion worth of imports.