Which trade partners did Iran lose last year?

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Last Iranian year (started March 21, 2018), the restrictions imposed on Iran’s foreign trade resulted in some East Asian (including Japan and South Korea) and European countries moving away from trade with Iran, Mohammad Reza Modudi, head of Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO), told Tasnim News Agency, Trend reports.

According to him, SWIFT and financial exchanges faced with serious obstacles due to US sanctions last year.

Modudi added that, due to the distance, the trade of these countries with Iran needs to be backed through shipping and a financial system.

“Although the trade turnover of Iran with these countries has declined, trade increased with neighboring countries. Because the rise of the dollar against rial was an economic justification for the import of products by neighboring countries from Iran,” he said.

Iran’s gas condensate exports dropped dramatically after sanctions have been imposed. With this, Modudi added, Iran’s exports amounted to $40 billion last year – only a 1-percent drop in comparison with the previous year’s figure. The main reason for the decline was the decrease in gas condensate exports.

According to him, exports of petrochemical products rose by 14 percent, and exports of other products by 2 percent.

Modudi said that Iran reached a milestone with the value of exports to Iraq reaching $9 billion last year.

“In general, besides China and India, Iran’s foreign trade was directed to 15 neighboring countries last year,” he said.

In May 2018, the US announced its withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA) between Iran and 5+1 (US, Russia, China, UK, France and Germany). The US imposed sanctions on Iran in November 2018.