Official figures show Iran had a trade surplus of $2 billion in the first eight months of the current Iranian year (March 21, 2018-November 22, 2018) despite the re-imposition of sanctions by the US against Tehran.
"Iran’s non-oil exports in the said eight-month period stood at $31.4 billion which was higher than the corresponding period last year by around 13 percent," figures released by the Customs Department showed.
The Customs Department also announced in a statement that Iran's imports also lowered by 12.5 percent to reach $29.5 billion.
Iran’s leading export item was condensate which fetched the country $2.7 billion. This accounted for around 9 percent of the country’s overall non-oil exports, the statement added.
Other key export items included liquefied propane ($1.3 billion), light oil products excluding gasoline ($1.1 billion) and methanol ($1 billion).
Figures showed that the majority of Iran’s non-oil exports were petrochemical products (33 percent).
The top export destination for Iran’s non-oil products was Iraq which imported $6.7 billion worth of products from the Islamic Republic over the period.
The Customs Department said in its statement that exports to Iraq saw a whopping rise of 66.5 percent compared to the same period last year.
Next key destinations for exports of Iranian products were China ($6.4 billion), the UAE ($5.9 billion) and Afghanistan ($2.2 billion).
Also, leading exports to Iran were China ($7.3 billion), the UAE ($4.4 billion), South Korea ($1.7 billion) and India ($1.6 billion).
The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) announced last Monday that Tehran's total foreign debts reduced by 9 percent in the first six months of the current Iranian year (March 21 – September 21), showing a significant slump as compared to the same period last year.
The volume of Iran’s foreign debt by the end of Iranian month of Shahrivar (Sept. 21) hit $10,317 million, $6,853 and $3,464 million of which is related to the mid-, long-and short-term periods, respectively.
CBI also put the total volume of Iran’s foreign debt by the end of Iranian month of Mordad (August 21) at $10,405 million, the rate of which faced a significant decline in the next month.
Statistics show that Iran’s total foreign debts by the end of the first Iranian month of Farvardin (April 21) hit $11,305 million, showing a significant decline in the first six months of the current year.
Accordingly, the proportion of Iran’s foreign debts to gross domestic product (GDP) stands at about 2.5 percent which is considered as a partial figure.
Comparing the index of ratio of Iran’s foreign debt to GDP with other countries indicates that Islamic Republic of Iran is among the countries that has the minimum foreign debt rate in the world.
Foreign debt includes debts of a country to foreign lenders which can contain the loans received from foreign private banks, other governments and international financial institutions such as World Bank (WB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF).