The Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA) updated its monthly trade figures with a spokesman saying that imports outpaced exports by $713 million in the month to August 21.
Rouhollah Latifi said on Saturday that Iran’s exports had increased in volume in the fifth month of the Iranian year, to reach 7.781 million metric tons, with total value of shipments sent to other countries exceeding $2.162 billion.
That was nearly 3.5 times the weight of imports into Iran, at 2.41 million tons, worth $2.875 billion, said Latifi.
The official said China remained the top importer of Iranian non-oil goods over the monthly period, as it took delivery of 2.195 million tons, or over 28 percent, of the shipment worth $566 million.
Iraq came second on the list of Iran’s top export destinations, with $441 million paid for 1.42 million tons of cargo, followed by the United Arab Emirates at 1.324 million tons, worth $338 million.
Shipments from China to Iran reached 335,000 tons, at a value of $746 million, followed by the UAE, with 390,000 tons, at $707 million, and Turkey with 227,000 tons, at $297 million, IRICA figures showed.
Germany was the only Western country with sizable exports to Iran, said Latifi, adding that the country sold $125 million worth of shipments to Iran in the month to late August, lower than India at $184 million.
Iran has maintained a good balance of trade over the past two years despite facing a series of unilateral US sanctions that have sought to cripple the country’s exports and imports.
Non-oil exports of Iran have become a major source of earning hard currency for the Iranian government as it struggles with significantly low sales of crude both due to the sanctions and low international oil prices.