TEHRAN - Figures by Iran Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) show loading and unloading operations at ports located south and north of the country soared by nearly 10% in the four months to July 22 against similar period last year.
A senior PMO official said on Sunday that loading and unloading at 22 Iranian ports had picked up by 9.8% in the first four months of the current calendar year to a total of 46.18 million metric tons.
PMO’s head of ports affairs Ravanbakhsh Behzadian said loading and unloading of petroleum products including crude at Iranian ports had soared by 22.7% to 17.46 million tons in late July this year.
Behzadian said the amount of liquid bulk cargoes handled at the ports had increased by nearly 40% to 1.47 million tons while general cargo handling surged by 25.3% to a total of 6.89 million tons over the same period.
Loading and unloading of dry bulk and container cargoes had declined slightly compared with the four months to July 2020, said the PMO official.
He said the figures were related to operations in 22 major Iranian ports, including five trade gateways on the Caspian Sea in northern Iran which mostly process Iran’s trade with Russia and other former Soviet Union countries.
A bulk of loading and unloading operations, however, took place in ports of Shahid Rajaee, in the south, and Imam Khomeini, located in southwestern Iran. The two ports on the Persian Gulf are responsible for a major part of Iran’s bulk and container cargo handling.
The 22.7% surge in loading and unloading of petroleum products is a sign Iran has increased its crude exports this year despite U.S. efforts to cut to zero the country’s crude sales through its regime of sanctions.
Latest PMO figures are also a sign that Iran’s trade with the rest of the world have hardly been affected by U.S. sanctions and the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.