Iran to provide cheap dollars to import priority goods‎

Iran to provide cheap dollars to import priority goods‎
# 24 July 2012 09:04 (UTC +04:00)
Baku - APA-Economics. Iran will allocate up to $30 billion at a low official exchange rate for the import of basic goods such as meat and medicine, the semi-official Fars news agency quoted a trade official as saying on Monday, Business Recorder reported.

Iranian media reported on Saturday that the government planned to introduce a three-tiered exchange rate system to purchase different classes of imports.

The Iranian rial has lost nearly half its value in the last year, after the West tightened sanctions over the country’’s disputed nuclear programme. Iran’’s oil sales, its chief source of hard currency earnings, have plummeted as a result and it has had trouble repatriating currency earned from crude exports because of sanctions against its central bank.

Though the official government exchange rate is 12,260 rials to the dollar, there is only a limited amount of these cheaper dollars available, and the unofficial market rate at which most Iranians can access dollars is closer to 19,000 rials. "We have decided to give priority to the import of goods ... and 24 to 30 billion dollars at the (official) exchange rate of 12,260 rials have been allocated for the import of basic goods," Fars quoted Kiomars Kermanshahi, deputy of the Trade Promotion Organisation of Iran, as saying on Monday.

Kermanshahi named dozens of goods that could be imported using the cheaper dollars, including red meat, chicken meat, live sheep and cows, barley, corn, raw oil, raw sugar, industrial powdered milk, pharmaceutical drugs, medical equipment not produced inside Iran, truck tyres, cotton, synthetic fibers, resins, coal, printing machines, and tractors. Other goods, including olive oil, cameras, tobacco, lamps, washing machines, dishwashers, tyres, sauces, cigarette papers, suitcases, mobile phones, wallpaper, vehicles and clothing, cannot be imported using the cheaper dollars, Kermanshahi said.
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