According to Press TV, Iran’s customs office (IRICA) said in a Tuesday report that total non-oil exports between late March and late August reached more than 60.7 tons worth $17.8 billion.
It said the figures excluded Iran’s exports of crude, kerosene and mazut as well as the suitcase trade.
The report said export shipments were mostly destined for China, Iraq, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Afghanistan, five countries that accounted for more 75 percent of Iran’s non-oil export income, some $13.3 billion.
It also said that imports in the five-month period stood at more than 14.1 billion tons worth more than $17.7 billion.
Main trading partners included China, the UAE, Turkey, India and Germany who exported over $12.2 billion worth of goods to Iran.
The five-month trade surplus of $61 million comes as many had expected Iran’s exports to be reduced to zero after the United States imposed sanctions on the country in November.
The American bans have mainly restricted Iran’s crude exports which used to account for the bulk of government income before the sanctions started.
That has prompted authorities to help strengthen non-oil exports as they seek more revenue from the sale of petrochemicals derived from oil.
The surplus was much higher at the end of June as data published by Tehran chamber of commerce pointed to a surge in exports in second quarter of 2019.
Decreased exports in the third quarter come as Iran’s national currency rial has regained some of its lost value in the recent past.