Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi iduring their meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China February 19, 2019. (REUTERS)

June 24, 2019

The latest official figures from China show that its trade with Iran suffered a substantial drop in the first five months of 2019, compared with the same period last year.

Trade figures published by China’s customs on June 17 show Iran’s exports, including crude oil, declined 46.6 percent totaling $7.17 billion. China’s exports to Iran also declined by 26% reaching a low of $3.74 billion.

As U.S. imposed oil sanctions on Iran last November, China and a handful of other countries received a six-month waiver to continue buying a limited amount of oil from Iran. The exemption ended May 1 and as a result Iran’s trade with China is expected to decline further in the coming months.

China is Iran’s largest oil customer and also its biggest non-oil trading partner.

Considering all bilateral commercial interactions, trade in total declined 35 percent in the first five months of the year.

China supports Iran diplomatically but its huge trading relations with the United States are much more important for the country that the relatively small trade it has with Iran.

United States-China trade reached nearly $660 billion in 2018.

Radio Farda

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.