Iran’s trade with China fell to a third … because of the sanctions


Source: Dubai – Saleh Hameed

In its latest report, the General Administration of China Customs said that trade with Iran decreased significantly during 2019 and reached nearly a third.

According to the American radio station “Farda” speaking in Persian, Iranian exports to China reached 13.434 billion dollars last year, as they decreased by more than 36% compared to 2018, while Chinese exports to Iran in the same period reached 9.590 billion dollars, a decrease of 31%.

China remained Iran’s largest trading partner even after the reimposition of US sanctions, but Iran’s share in trade with China is less important and accounts for a meager 0.5% of Beijing’s total foreign trade.

According to Chinese customs statistics, the country’s foreign trade volume in 2019 was about $ 4.576 trillion, of which trade with the United States and the European Union was 12% and 16%, respectively.

These figures come while China enjoys strong trade relations with Saudi Arabia and the UAE, as the volume of Sino-Saudi trade is three times higher than the volume of trade with Iran, while the volume of trade between the UAE and China is twice the Chinese trade with Tehran.

Before the U.S. sanctions entered into force in 2018, China was the largest buyer of Iranian crude oil, but for the time being, due to the sanctions, Iran is able to export only 250,000 barrels to China without cash due to the financial embargo.

China receives these quantities of oil in exchange for paying Iran’s debts to China Petrochemical Company (Sinopec) and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNCP), which previously developed giant Iranian oil fields, especially “Azadegan” and “Yadavaran” in the Ahvaz region.

Chinese companies developed these fields after Japanese and European companies withdrew from the projects due to fears of sanctions on Iran’s nuclear program.


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