The value of Iran's exports to the European Union rose by over 50 percent in the first quarter of 2003 following last year's fall in the wake of a worldwide downturn, IRNA reported from London.
Figures obtained exclusively by IRNA from Eurostat showed that Iranian exports to the world's biggest trading bloc grew to eur 1.7 bn (dlrs 1.9 bn) in the first three months of this year, compared with eur 1.1 bn in the same period in 2002.
The surge in the recovery halved the EU trade surplus with Iran to eur 400 million in the first quarter even though EU exports to Iran continued their rise, reaching eur 2.1 bn, up from eur 1.9 bn in the first three months of last year.
The increase in Iranian exports was dominated by the rise in EU oil imports to eur 1.5 bn. It was led by Italy, Iran's biggest market, whose imports grew by eur 130 m to eur 500 m.
The rise was also highlighted by almost a 200 percent increase to eur 300 m in purchases by the Netherlands, home of the Rotterdam oil market.
The continuing growth in EU exports was led by Germany, Iran's largest supplier, whose sales increased by eur 100 m to eur 600 m. There was also a significant rise in Swedish exports from eur 67 m to eur 118 m.
Figures from Eurostat showed Iran retained its position as the EU's fourth largest trading partner in the Middle East and second biggest oil supplier in the region after Saudi Arabia.
... Payvand News - 8/6/03 ... --