Disclosure: Your support helps keep Commodity.com running! We earn a referral fee for some brokers & services we list on this page. Learn more...

Iran’s Economic Overview – Top Commodity Exports & Imports Revealed

Last Updated:

In this economic summary, we discuss Iran’s global economic position as a nation by GDP and the country’s trade balance.

Read on to find out about Iran’s five most imported commodities, five most exported commodities, and some interesting facts about Iran.

Alongside the economic overview, we’ve included some additional resources on different ways to trade.

Economic Overview Of Iran

The country is currently ranked as the 48th largest product export economy in the world.

The country has a positive trade balance of $12.2 billion after deducting annual imports of $50.4 billion from its export total of $62.6 billion.

During the last decade, Iran’s economy saw a 31.9% decline in total export value from $91.8 billion.

Iran’s GDP was $1.17 trillion in 2017, with a GDP per capita of $14,536 at an annual growth rate of 3.755%.

Iran’s Most Exported Commodities

These are Iran’s most exported raw commodities:

CommodityAmount (Annually)
Crude petroleum$43 billion
Refined petroleum$1.42 billion
Petroleum gas$1.16 billion
Iron Ore$942 million
Copper Ore$463 million

Iran’s Other Notable Exports

  1. Ethylene Polymers – $2.66 billion
  2. Acrylic Alcohols – $1.65 billion
  3. Semi-Finished Iron – $1.65 billion
  4. Miscellaneous Nuts – $597 million
  5. Nitrogenous Fertilizers – $496 million

Top export destinations for Iran are China ($18.9 billion), India ($13.4 billion), the UAE ($7.73 billion), South Korea ($3.64 billion), and Italy ($3.14 billion).

Iran’s Most Imported Commodities

Here are Iran’s most imported commodities with China also being the top country of origin at a 27.8% market share.

CommodityAmount (Annually)
Corn$1.67 billion
Rice$1.4 billion
Soybeans $951 million
Rolled Tobacco$732 million
Soybean Meal$654 million

Iran’s Other Notable Imports

  1. Cars – $3.47 billion
  2. Vehicle Parts – $1.34 billion
  3. Packaged Medicaments – $682 million
  4. Synthetic Filament Yarn Woven Fabric – $659 million
  5. Iron Pipes – $649 million

More Information on Iran’s Imports/Exports

Iran isn’t the largest export-import force to reckon with, but the country’s trade does contribute significantly to the global economy.

Crude Petroleum

Iran’s most significant export is crude petroleum and it represents 68.6% of the country’s annual shipments.

Annual crude petroleum shipments total $678 billion as the world’s 2nd largest exported commodity. Iran is the seventh-largest exporting country with a 3.99% market share.

Political unrest and economic sanctions are a strong influential factor when it comes to Iran’s export performance.


The global export market for peat is worth $1.93 billion per year and Iran is responsible for 15.9% of the total exports.

Peat production peaked in Iran in 2004 at 8,000 metric tons.

Iron Ore

Annual global exports of iron ore are $142 billion and Iran was the tenth biggest exporter with a 1.42% market share five years ago. Now Iran is eight with a smaller market share of 0.99%.

The value of worldwide iron ore exports has fallen by 32.4% in the last five years. Australia (50.5%) and Brazil (21.5%) lead ahead of South Africa (4.94%) and Canada (4.41%).

Semi-Finished Iron

The export of semi-finished iron accounts for 2.64% of Iran’s total annual exports. Iran has a 5.03% market share of the world total of $32.8 billion.

Iranian iron product exports to Europe have increased as a result of some sanctions being lifted — Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program, making it one of the largest suppliers in the region.

Copper Ore

The global copper ore export market is worth $64.2 billion each year and Iran has a 0.72% share of that market, which is led by Chile (29.1%) and Peru (20.3%).

In 2013, Iran’s global share was only 0.24%, which rose to 0.57% by 2015.

A Few Interesting Facts About Iran

  • Almost half of Iran has an arid desert climate, receiving less than four inches of rain each year.
  • There is only one river in Iran that can be navigated by boat.
  • About 70% of Iran’s population is under the age of thirty.
  • Iran has one of the only condom factories located in the Middle East.

All figures based on 2018 OEC and GlobalEdge.msu.edu trade data unless stated otherwise.

Commodity Brokers: Where Can I Start Trading?

If you want to explore which of Iran’s most traded commodities you can find with an online broker, see our list of regulated brokers available in .

Loading table...

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 74%-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Further Reading & Resources

Trader’s looking to research how to trade some of Iran’s most traded commodities can read our guides on CFDs, options, stock brokers, and bullion dealers.

Learn more about the types of commodities and their history in these guides:

Plus500 is not available in the US

Legitimate CFD brokers, like Plus500, cannot accept US clients by law

US traders welcome at these brokers:


  • Trade 14+ major crypto coins
  • Includes Bitcoin, Ethereum & Ripple
  • Super simple setup

Accepts traders in the USA

Start Trading at eToro

Forex, Gold & Silver:

  • Trade gold and silver
  • Trade over 90+ currencies
  • Major US broker

Accepts traders in the USA

Start Trading at Forex

No thanks