Iran has managed to increase its exports to Iraq by almost a third year on year in the five months to August 22, says a senior businessman watching over trade between the neighbors.
Jahanbakhsh Sanjabi, who serves as secretary general of Iran-Iraq Joint Chamber of Commerce, said on Thursday that the value of the Iranian exports to Iraq had reached $3.163 billion in the first five months of the current calendar year, up 31% against March-August 2020.
Sanjabi said exports to Iraq had also increased by 53% in volume terms over the same period as total weight of the shipments sent from Iran to the Arab country topped 12 million metric tons.
The businessman said Iran's imports from Iraq had also increased significantly, although from a very low base, to $140 million for 246,000 tons of cargoes, up 540% against the five months to late August last year.
The surge in the Iranian exports to Iraq comes as trade between the neighbors had suffered in 2020 mainly because of tight restrictions imposed at borders to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Sanjabi said that Iraq is expected to increase the total size of its imports in 2020 as coronavirus restrictions would ease while the country is expecting higher crude export revenues next year that it can use to fund imports.
“Iraq’s imports are expected to jump in late 2022 both because of surge in crude revenues and the presence of investment companies from Europe and East Asia,” said Sanjabi, adding, “Traders of our country and even the Iranian contractors have a unique opportunity in front of them.”