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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the United Nations General Assembly on September 26, 2012. He hopes to boost political relations with Argentina, which is already setting new records in Iran trade.  (UN Photo: Jennifer S Altman)
Iranian capital Tehran. The country is seeing a surge in imports from Brazil and Argentina. (Photo: Mehrad Watson)
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Special Reports

Latin America: Iran Trade Triples


Strong increases in exports from Brazil and Argentina to Iran.

BY LATINVEX STAFF

Iran’s trade with Latin America more than tripled last year, according to a Latinvex analysis of data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Nearly all of the trade is based on Iranian imports from Latin America. While Iran’s exports to Latin America fell 57.2 percent to $73.1 million, imports from Latin America jumped 422.7 percent to $3.9 billion. That resulted in total trade growing 333.3 percent to $4 billion.

Two countries – Brazil and Argentina – dominate Iran’s trade with Latin America, accounting for 95.8 percent of the total, while the IMF figures show a surprisingly low level of trade between Iran and its key political partner in Latin America, Venezuela.

In terms of trade growth, Argentina posted the highest percentage change (782.1 percent), while Brazil saw the greatest value increase ($1.9 billion).

When it came to import growth, Colombia and Argentina posted the highest percentage changes – 1,400 percent and 937 percent, respectively. In value terms, Brazil saw the greatest change ($2 billion).

Brazil’s exports to Iran grew last year 326.5 percent to $2.6 billion. Iran’s exports to Brazil fell 71.6 percent to $35 million.

Brazil’s exports to Iran last year were higher than the exports for the previous four years combined. The previous record was in 2003, when exports reached $1.0 billion.

Argentina’s exports to Iran reached $1.2 billion, a tenfold increase from 2010 and a new record. The previous record of $371 million was posted in 2009 (in itself a strong increase from the $84 million in trade in 2008).

The growing trade comes as the two countries have improved political relations recently. Argentina has long maintained that Iran played a role in the 1994 bombings of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, a claim Iran has denied.

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner announced at the United Nations last month that her country would start talks with Iran aimed at resolving the diplomatic conflict.

VENEZUELA

Iran’s trade with Venezuela last year only reached $9.8 million, according to the IMF. Iran’s exports to Venezuela fell 37.1 percent to $9 million, while imports grew 60 percent to $800,000.

The United States last year implemented sanctions against Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA after it had sent two shipments of gasoline additives worth $50 to Iran between December 2010 and March 2011.

Mexico, Latin America’s top trading nation, posted a mere $10 million in trade with Iran last year. Iran’s exports fell 26.5 percent to $2.5 million, while imports grew 50 percent to $7.5 million. Mexico’s exports had been gradually falling in recent years from a high of $51 million in 2002.

Ecuador’s trade with Iran last year reached $16.8 million, an increase of 29.2 percent. Iran’s exports to Ecuador grew 29.2 percent to $300,000, while imports grew 28.9 percent to $16.5 million. Ecuador’s exports the past two years have been higher than in previous years. The previous record was in 2006 with $6 million

Trade with Colombia has reached new record last year, although it is still at a relatively low level of $5.45 million. That represented a 97.8 percent increase from 2010. Iran’s exports grew 59.3 percent to $4.3 million, while imports jumped 1,400 percent to $1.2 million (from a mere $80,000 in 2010).

Trade with Chile grew last year, but still lower than the 2004 and 2003 levels. In 2004, Chilean exports to Iran reached $116 million and in 2003 they reached $52 million. Last year trade grew 105.3 percent to $15.4 million. Iran’s exports fell 32.1 percent to $80,000, while imports increased 128.1 percent to $14.6 million.

Iran’s trade with Peru reached $2.5 million last year, an increase of 25 percent. Iran’s exports grew 27 percent to $2 million, while imports increased 15 percent to $500,000.

Cuba trade has fallen to zero the past two years from a high of $34.7 million (all Cuban exports) in 2002.

© Copyright Latinvex

 

 

 

 
Iran-Latin America Trade
2011 trade in millions of US dollars

Country

Exports

Ch 10/11

Imports

Ch 10/11

Total

Ch 10/11

Brazil

$35

-71.60%

$2,565

326.50%

$2,600

258.70%

Argentina

$15

-28.40%

$1,189

936.80%

$1,204

782.10%

Ecuador

$0.30

29.20%

$16.50

28.90%

$16.80

29.20%

Chile

$0.80

-32.10%

$14.60

128.10%

$15.40

105.33%

Mexico

$2.50

-26.50%

$7.50

50%

$10.00

19.04%

Venezuela

$9

-37.10%

$0.80

60%

$9.80

-33.80%

Colombia

$4.30

59.30%

$1.20

1400%

$5.50

97.80%

Peru

$2.00

27.00%

$0.50

15%

$2.50

25.00%

Bolivia

$0.04

26.70%

$0

N/A

$0.04

33.33%

Total

$73.10

-57.20%

$3,898.50

422.70%

$3,971.60

333.30%

NOTE: Total includes other countries not listed.

Sources: International Monetary Fund (exports, imports), Latinvex (ranking, total, percent changes)

 

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