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Load and unload surge at Iran’s ports despite US sanctions

Iran says load and unload activity at major ports have increased despite American sanctions.

Iranian authorities say ports north and south of the country have seen increased processing activity over the past six months despite American sanctions that have sought to negatively impact trade with the country.

A Tuesday report by Iran’s ministry of transportation said load and unload was up 1.9 percent in 19 major ports between late March and early September 2019 compared to the similar period last year.

It said the weight of cargoes processed at the ports had increased by over 300,000 tons to exceed 68 million tons in the nearly-six-month period which covers half of the current Persian calendar year.

The report covered in the IRNA agency said the biggest increase in imports and exports, over 30 percent, had been recorded for dry bulk cargoes which reached 27.2 million tons in volume in the period.

Load and unload for liquid bulk had also increased by three percent to stand at 2.6 million tons, said the report, adding that processing was higher for other freight groups including 20-foot equivalent units (TEU), containers, general cargoes and oil-related shipments.

The report, which covered major Iranian ports like Imam Khomeini in the south and Anzali in the north, said increased processing activity at trade terminals was a sign of boom in Iran’s trade at a time of increased US economic pressure.

Iran has been subject to some tough and unprecedented waves of American sanctions since last year when Washington withdrew from a major international agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program.  

Sanctions were imposed in November, with the aim they could hamper Iran’s crude exports and lead to reduced activity in trade. The White House then toughened the bans in May when it lifted waivers granted to certain countries to continue business with Iran.

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