TEHRAN (Iran News) – Iran exported five million tons of products worth $1.45 billion to Iraq during March 20-June 20, said an Iranian trade official.
Speaking to IRNA on Friday, Hamid Hosseini, the director-general of Iran-Iraq Chamber of Commerce, added that in the same period last year, Iran had exported 6.2 million tons of goods to its western neighbor, valued at $2.35 billion.
He noted that the outbreak of the coronavirus in the region, the closure of the common border, and the imposition of restrictions have been the reasons for the drop in the weight and value of the overseas sales to Iraq in the current Iranian calendar year (starting March 20).
Commenting on the numerous problems Iraq is currently faced with and the restrictions it has imposed due to the spread of the virus in the country, he regretted that the Arab state’s lack of hygiene facilities has aroused concerns as it fails to have the infrastructure to manage the present situation.
During May 21-June 20, he said, Iran sent 16,000 trucks, loaded with products, to Iraq which helped generate $970m in revenues, adding under the present circumstances, exports to Iraq have witnessed a 33 percent decline year-on-year.
Hosseini noted that, following China, Iraq is Iran’s second main export destination, saying financial assessments indicate that, in the three-month period to June 20, China’s imports from Iran were only $500,000 more than Iraq’s purchases.
He said that in the same duration, the UAE was Iran’s third main export destination.
Hosseini noted that purchasing Iranian products has a number of advantages for Iraqis; among them are lower prices and easy payment.
He said the short distance between the two countries – the origin and destination of exports – as well as easy access to the Iraqi and Iranian markets for exporters and customers, respectively, have encouraged the Iranian private sector to seek a bigger share of the Arab country’s market, which has already given positive signals to Iranian exporters.
The official said that the Shalamcheh, Mehran and Soomar border crossings are currently open two days per week, allowing entry to 250 trucks, expressing hope that with a decline in the coronavirus spread and the reopening of the remaining border crossings between the two countries, conditions would return to normal, as major markets for Iranian products are located in southern and central Iraq.
On Iran’s foreign currency claims from Iraq, Hosseini said the two countries’ officials have reached an agreement.
- source : Iran Daily, Irannews