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Iran-China trade down 11% in Jan-July: Customs data

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Chinese customs data show trade with Iran dropped by 11% y/y in January-July to $8.54 billion.

Figures by the Chinese customs authority show trade with Iran fell by 11% in value terms year on year in January-July amid a drop in the country’s total trade with the rest of the world and as declining prices of petrochemicals affected Iran’s shipments to China.

The Chinese customs figures cited in a Wednesday report by Iran’s Tasnim news agency showed that China-Iran trade had reached $8.54 billion in the seven months to July, down from $9.6 billion reported in the same period last year.

China had a trade surplus of $3.46 billion with Iran in January-July as the country imported $2.54 billion worth of goods from Iran over the period while exports reached nearly $6 billion, showed the data.

The figures showed that China’s imports from Iran had dropped by 43% in value terms in the seven months to July compared to the same period last year. That comes as exports to Iran rose by 17% over the same period.

Total Chinese trade fell by 13.6% year on year in January-July to reach $3.4 trillion, the figures showed.

The Chinese customs office normally do not report on private buyers'  imports of crude oil from Iran.  

Recent reports suggest Iran has ramped up its supply of oil to those buyers to record levels of nearly 1.5 million barrels per day.

That comes as Iran's non-oil exports to China have dropped in value terms in recent months mainly because of the declining prices of petrochemicals and oil products in the international markets.

China has remained Iran’s largest trade partner since 2018 when Tehran came under American sanctions.

Iranian customs figure show China imported more than $14.5 billion worth of goods from Iran in the calendar year to late March.


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