India's exports to Iran up 17% in Apr-June 2012: Assocham
New Delhi: India's exports to sanction-hit Iran grew by 17 percent year-on-year to USD 705.8 million during the April-June period of the current fiscal, Assocham said Thursday.
The country's exports to Iran during April-June 2011 stood at USD 605.3 million.
"The exports to Iraq, another hot spot in the Middle-East, saw a big jump, bucking the overall trend of decline in Indian exports," it said.
India's exports to Iran comprise agri items like basmati rice, tea, sugar and soyabean.
The chamber also said that India has reduced its oil imports from Iran due to the US pressure. Iran is India's second largest oil supplier after Saudi Arabia.
India's overall imports from the key Middle East country declined by about 25 percent to USD 2.71 billion during the first quarter of this fiscal from USD 3.6 billion in the same period last year.
"The crude oil import was the largest item of imports from Iran. As the country faced the US pressure and the payment system for Iranian crude was disturbed, India's imports from that country had to drop sharply," Assocham said.
The country's overall imports in the first half of the current fiscal were down by 3.6 percent to USD 234.8 billion.
It said that India has exported several food items like wheat to Iran which has been hit hard by the sanctions from UN, the US and Europe against its disputed nuclear programme.
Further, the chamber said that India?s exports to Iraq jumped to USD 334.5 million during the April-June quarter from USD 132.8 million in the same period of 2011-12.
"Although the situation in Iraq is not similar to Iran", India?s imports from Iraq also declined by 16.6 percent to USD 4.6 billion during the period from USD 5.5 billion in April-June 2011, it added.
Among the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) countries, the share of Indonesia, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in India?s imports increased significantly.
In contrast, the share of Iran in India's total imports declined to 2.4 percent during April-June 2012 from 3 percent in the same period previous year. Similarly, the share of Iraq in the country's total imports declined to 4 percent from 4.5 percent in Q1 of 2011-12.
"Irrespective of the pressure from the west, India needs to pursue its economic ties with Iran and other important countries in the Middle-East," Assocham President Rajkumar N Dhoot said in a statement.
"We will continue to build bridges between the businesses of the countries," Dhoot said.