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Iran's Non-oil exports rise by 22 percent in March-August

Non-oil exports increased by 22 percent and 2.6 percent in terms of value and weight, respectively, in the first five months of the current Iranian year (started March 21) compared to the figures for the same period last year, IRNA reported from Tehran.

Iran's Customs Administration reported here Sunday that over 5.7 million tons of various non-oil products, valued at dlrs 2,046 million, were exported during the period.

It said the jump in the non-oil exports are primarily due to increase in prices in industrial, petrochemical and agricultural products.

It added that the least price increase was registered in the mining sector with industrial and petrochemicals sectors having the highest share in the non-oil exports.

Taking into account the luggage trade of dlrs 21.2 million and dlrs 246 million in border trade, the total value of non-oil exports exceeded dlrs 2.313 billion in the first five month of the year. The sum is 25.7 percent higher than the figure for the same period last year, the Customs Administration reported.

Iran has been striving to boost its non-oil exports as an alternative to oil exports in gaining hard currency revenues. An official at the Trade Research Institute affiliated to the Commerce Ministry said last month that despite the unified foreign exchange rate, the value of non-oil exports is now less than what it was in 1994.

Mohammad Reza Rafati said that in 1994 the value of non-oil exports amounted to dlrs 4.83 billion and `after a lapse of eight years, the amount is not much different now`.

He further added that a unified hard currency rate in an economy with 15 percent annual inflation rate is a source of higher production costs, and if global prices remain stable, the situation could lead to lower incentive for exports.

"Only in a low inflation environment, stable currency rate could have a positive impact on non-oil exports," he said.

A balanced budget calls for non-oil exports to be raised by 30-40 percent annually, when the currency rates are stable and trend in production costs are higher due to a 15 percent inflation rate. "In such a situation the government is bound to increase liquidity which itself is inflationary," he added.

... Payvand News - 9/14/03 ... --

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