Trade between Iran, Afghanistan getting back to normal

August 23, 2021 - 13:49

TEHRAN – Iran, and Afghanistan have resumed trade exchanges as the tension in Kabul has eased, IRIB reported on Monday, quoting the spokesman of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA).

According to Rouhollah Latifi, the trade between the two sides, which had declined 15 percent over the past two months, is now back to normal levels.

“Considering the recent conflicts in Afghanistan, the weight of Iran-Afghanistan trade declined 15 percent, however, the latest statistics show that the trade has reached about 1,300 trucks per day by August 21,” Latifi said.

The official noted that recently, more than 500 trucks passed through Mahiroud border, about 600 trucks were exchanged in Dogharun border and 185 trucks were cleared at Milak border.

“In Milak border, 97 trucks were headed for Afghanistan and 88 entered Iran, of which 22 were export cargoes, 15 were transit cargoes, 17 were cement trucks, 33 trucks were tankers and five were return trucks,” he explained.

According to the IRICA spokesman, the trade level in Milak border is still 7.5 percent less than pre-conflict levels; however, the exchanges are rapidly getting back to normal.

He noted that considering Afghanistan's need for Iranian foodstuff products, it is expected that the exchange of two countries across the Milak border will exceed the average of 200 trucks and reach 300 trucks.

Latifi further mentioned the situation in other borders, saying: “At the Mahiroud border, we are witnessing a 60 percent increase in trade, and trade at the border of Dogharun in Khorasan Razavi Province is also growing due to the end of the conflict and the amount of trade is returning to normal.”

Following the recent unrest in Afghanistan, Iran’s exports to the country had fallen significantly and Iranian exporters were looking for alternative markets to replace the neighboring country.

Afghanistan accounted for 11 percent of Iran's total non-oil exports in the first quarter of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21-June 21), during which the country imported 296,000 tons of agricultural and food products worth $134 million from Iran.

Tomatoes, apples, potatoes, sweets, and fruit juice concentrate were the top exported items to the neighboring country.

Afghanistan imported about $8 billion worth of non-oil goods in 2020, of which $2.3 billion came from Iran; this indicates that one-third of the country's needs were supplied by the Islamic Republic.

EF/MA

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