Iran’s trade surplus at $3.4bn
Iran said its trade surplus exceeded $3.4 billion over a period of four months starting March 21, 2016 in what is seen as the country’s best post-sanctions trade performance.
Figures released by the Customs Administration of Iran show that the country’s non-oil exports over the period stood at $16.3 billion – a figure that was higher than the corresponding period last year by 21.11 percent.
It is believed that a new wave of exports of petrochemical products spurred by the removal of sanctions against Iran in January has been instrumental in the improvement of Iran’s trade activities.
Iran’s exports of petrochemical products over the period had increased by 41.5 percent in the overall basket of non-oil products.
The total value of petrochemicals exported stood at $6.7 billion and the total value of other non-oil products stood at above $6.6 billion, it added.
In January, a series of economic sanctions that had been imposed against Iran were removed after a deal that the country had last year reached with the P5+1 – the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany – came into effect.
The sanctions restricted banking transactions with the country among other issues.
Iran has been persistently urging European countries to take the required measures to encourage their banks to facilitate transactions with Tehran now that the sanctions have been removed.
However, the country’s plea appears to have fallen on deaf ears so far.
Analysts have already emphasized that the banks remain wary of the impacts of the remaining American sanctions against Iran, specifically those that address banking transactions with the country.
Fariborz Karimaei, the deputy head of the Association of Petrochemical Industry Corporation of Iran, was quoted by the media in mid-August as saying that Iran’s petrochemical exports to Europe are facing problems as a result of sanctions-related banking issues that have not been fully settled, presstv reported.
Karimaei emphasized that the European banks are still failing to cooperate with the Iranian exporters of petrochemical products even eight months after the removal of the sanctions.