The value of trade between Iran and the United Arab Emirates reached $7.3 billion in the five months to July 22, according to figures by Iran’s customs administration (IRICA).
IRICA spokesman Rouhollah Latifi said on Saturday that trade between Iran and the UAE had increased by 54% in value terms and by 24% in volume terms in the first five months of the current Persian calendar year.
However, the balance of trade was largely in UAE’s favor, said Latifi, adding that the Arab country’s exports to Iran had reached $5.391 billion, up 157% against March-July 2020.
The UAE is the top re-exporting hub in the Persian Gulf region. The country processes large shipments of food, animal feedstock and staples from various parts of the world into Iran.
Latifi said Iran’s exports into the UAE between March and July had comprised mostly of agrifood, including dried nuts, fruit and seafood.
He said exports into the UAE had surged by 23% year on year in March-July to $1.912 billion, adding that shipments sent to the Arab country were responsible for 11% of Iran’s total exports over the five-month period.
The IRICA official said trade between Iran and the UAE is expected to increase by a around fifth in the calendar year to March 2022 to nearly $17.5 billion.
Iran has seen increased trade activity with neighboring countries since the United States imposed its sanctions on the country in 2018 after pulling out of an international deal on Tehran’s nuclear program.
The Iranian government has introduced measures to encourage exports of agrifood and manufactured products as it seeks to offset revenues losses suffered because of American sanctions on its crude sales.