Iran’s trade with BRICS countries booming

RT, May 11, 2023 —

Beijing remains Tehran’s largest trade partner, customs figures suggest

Trade in goods other than crude oil between Iran and BRICS nations increased last year, according to the latest data released by the country’s customs service.

Tehran’s trade with Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa totalled nearly 48 million tons, with a value of more than $38 billion in the fiscal year 2022-2023, which represents a 14% increase in terms of value. The fiscal year in Iran begins on March 21 and ends on March 20 of the following year, coinciding with the Persian calendar year.

China remains Iran’s main trade partner among the BRICS nations, with trade reaching 35.5 million tons worth over $30 billion (up 37.41%). India comes second with trade up nearly 47%, and Russia is third (up 3.59%). Trade with Brazil declined in both weight and value. South Africa was Iran’s main trading partner on the African continent, with bilateral trade up by more than 23%, according to figures reported by the Tehran-based daily Financial Tribune.

The trade increase comes despite the “Maximum pressure” sanctions campaign announced by the US in 2018 over Tehran’s nuclear program. The US has also been pushing to seize more Iranian ships carrying crude, to prevent the country’s oil sales from rising.

Iran applied to join BRICS last year, with more than a dozen other nations having expressed interest in becoming part of the economic alliance. The bloc is working to develop a new currency to stop using the US dollar in trade. Deals have also been settled in the national currencies of the trading countries. According to a recent report by Bloomberg, BRICS is set to surpass the G7, the bloc of developed economies, in economic growth over the next five years.

This comes after Western sanctions effectively cut off Russia, a key member of the bloc, from the Western financial system and markets and made it practically impossible for the country to settle trade agreements in the US dollar and the euro.

Iran mainly exports crude oil and natural gas, which account for over 80% of the country’s export revenues. Among other exports are plastics, chemicals, iron and fruit. Imported goods include machinery, cereals, electrical and electronic equipment, and pharmaceutical products.

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