0215 GMT February 19, 2020
This comes as the figure was negative in the same period last year standing at $4.5 billion, added Mojtaba Khosrotaj at a press conference ahead of Iran's National Export Day (October 21), IRNA reported.
He noted that during the six-month period to September 22, Iran exported products worth more than $23 billion, adding the figure was 13 percent lower in the same duration a year ago amounting to $20.4 billion.
Khosrotaj, who is also the head of Iran's Trade Promotion Organization (TPO), said that in the same time-span, Iran imported goods valued at $22.18 billion indicating a decline of $3 billion from figure for the same duration last year, which was $25 billion.
He said the year-on-year growth and drop in exports and imports were the main reasons for the positive trade balance during March 21-September 22.
The TPO chief said Iraq is among the country's main export destinations, adding Iran's sales to its western neighbor rose 45 percent in the same period to reach $4.5 billion. "The figure is expected to amount to $9 billion by March 2019."
Commenting on the government's measure to control domestic forex market by mandating exporters to inject revenues into Iran's economy, Khosrotaj noted that since March 21, 2018, €5.9 billion have been made available to the domestic foreign currency market — through the Central Bank of Iran's Forex Deals Integrated System, locally known by the acronym NIMA.
He said that based on the government's calculations, the domestic steel, mining and petchem industries are required to inject a total of $1.5 billion into the forex market per month.
The official underlined that a part of this figure was spent on imports.
Khosrotaj said added Iran's exports to Afghanistan and Iraq will reach close to $12.5 million by March 2019.