Figures by Iran’s customs office IRICA shows exports to Russia and Azerbaijan soared in the year to March 2021 despite intermittent restrictions imposed at borders to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
IRICA spokesman Rouhollah Latifi said on Tuesday that Azerbaijan had played a key role in Iran’s growing exports to Russia over the past calendar year.
Latifi said exports to Russia had surged by 10% year on year in late March to reach a total value of $504.575 million for 1.051 million metric tons of cargoes.
He said exports to Azerbaijan also grew by 18% to nearly $511 million for 1.003 million tons of shipments over the same period.
The official said that some 57% of Iran’s exports to Russia had passed through Azerbaijan, meaning that borders with the northern neighbor had been responsible for nearly $800 million worth of Iranian exports over the past calendar year.
That comes as Azerbaijan continued to process Iranian trade even at the height of travel restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus last year.
Latifi said exports to Russia had reached over $135 million in value terms in the quarter to late June this year while shipments to Azerbaijan stood at $86.395 million over the same period.
Iran has been able to increase its exports to Russia since October 2019 when it reached a preferential trade agreement with a Moscow-led economic union that operates in the Eurasian region.
Trade with Azerbaijan is expected to surge as the country has introduced plans to improve economic ties with Iran since it emerged of a war with neighboring Armenia in November last year.