TEHRAN: China has traditionally been Iran’s biggest trading partner. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the official name of the nuclear deal Iran signed with world powers, including China, in 2015, gave a further boost to bilateral economic relations. Bilateral trade grew 31% during the first half of 2017 compared with last year’s corresponding period to reach $18 billion, Iran-China Chamber of Commerce cited data from Chinese customs department. According to the report, China’s exports to Iran saw a 23% year-on-year increase during the period, rising from $7.2 billion to $8.8 billion. Iran’s exports to China rose from $6.5 billion to $9.2 billion, registering a year-on-year increase of 40%. Oil was the main commodity exported by the Islamic Republic to the Republic of China. China is the top importer of Iranian oil and non-oil commodities.
Iran exported 14.8 million tons of non-oil commodities worth $3.61 billion to China during the six-month period, up by 4.2 million tons in volume and $970 million in value YOY. Last fiscal year (March 2016-17), China imported 37.7 million tons of Iranian goods worth $8.17 billion, up 9.1% compared with the year before and exported $10.73 billion worth of commodities in return. Since Iran’s overall non-oil foreign trade stood at $87 billion, trade with China accounted for more than one-fifth (21.72%) of Iran’s total commercial exchanges with other countries last year. Latest statistics on Iran’s foreign trade provided by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration show Iran exported $2.84 billion worth of non-oil goods to China and its imports reached $3.49 billion during the four months of the current Iranian year (started March 21).