TEHRAN (Press TV) - A report by the Iranian government shows non-oil exports, including petrochemicals and condensates, exceeded $44 billion in the year ending March 2019.
The report by Plan and Budget Organization of Iran (PBO) published showed that exports had topped $44.310 billion in the 12-month period, an increase of 5.9 percent compared to the figures recorded in March 2013.
It said refined products derived from oil and condensates accounted for less than half of the value of the exports, around $19 billion.
The report said Iran’s total imports in the period stood at $42.612 billion, down from nearly $50 billion in 2013.
The PBO said it was the first time in five years that Iran could post a trade surplus of around $2 billion, mainly thanks to a significant increase in exports of products totally unrelated to the oil industry.
The figures come amid a surge in Iran’s exports of products like food, fuel and construction materials to neighboring countries.
Trade has further increased this year as government data suggests busier times in ports south and north of the country.
Iran’s transportation ministry said earlier this week that processing activity at ports had increased between March and August to cover 68 million tons of cargoes.
The boost in Iran’s trade comes despite sanctions imposed by United States.
The bans were enacted in November, with the aim they could hamper Iran’s crude exports and lead to reduced activity in trade.
Washington then toughened the sanctions in May when it lifted waivers granted to certain countries to continue business with Iran.
******Iran says the value of annual exports excluding oil hit a target of $44.3 billion in March 2019.