DUBAI, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- While exports from the Gulf Arab sheikhdom of Dubai to Iran plummeted last year due to new sanctions imposed by Western states against Tehran, Iranian firms report increased export volumes to Dubai.
Speaking at the ongoing three-day petrochemical congress Arabplast in Dubai which started Monday, Pedram Valipour, managing director at industry services firm Neku Saz Giti, said Tuesday exports from Iran's petrochemical industry to the six Arab countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) were growing at double-digit rates.
Exports of petrochemical products, including polyethylene, plastic bags or raw materials for painting, from Iran to the GCC countries do not fall under any of the four UN sanctions against Iran, which were imposed in recent years to prevent Tehran from stepping up its nuclear energy program.
Earlier in the week, the Tehran Times quoted the deputy transport minister as saying over 8.48 million tons of goods have been transited through the country in the first nine months of the current Iranian calendar year which started on March 20, 2012. Among the most commonly transited products were fuel, oil products, petrochemicals and construction materials.
However, the flow of goods from the other direction declined dramatically. According to the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, the average monthly exports and re-exports from Dubai to the Islamic republic dived to 490 million U.S. dollars, down from 1.9 billion U.S. dollars in 2010.
Fereshteh Vahabnejad, marketing manager for polymers at Iran's Petrochemical Commercial Company or PCC, said "Dubai became a top- destination for Iranian petrochemical products," adding that due to the 80-percent value decline of the Iranian currency, high-end quality products from Iran became very cheap for GCC buyers.
Despite increased sanctions, PCC did not close its Dubai office, but its branches in London, Hamburg and Germany were "dormant," said Vahabnejad.