report to -http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2017/01/29/508255/Iran-says-channel-to-export-carpets-to-US-open
Iran’s prized rug trade is getting a boost from the lifting of sanctions, with exports to the US reclaiming the lost ground in a big way.
A stack of sanctions imposed in 2010 and then in 2012 pulled the rug from under the much-coveted Iranian carpet business, allowing cheaper craft from Pakistan, India and China to gain a foothold in the US and other key markets.
A nuclear accord reached in July has put Iran back on the market and the country’s elegant hand-knotted carpets have returned to their traditional destinations with a vengeance.
According to head of the Iranian National Carpet Center Hamid Kargar on Tuesday, Iran’s carpet exports to the US significantly grew in the four months since the beginning of the Persian year on March 21, totaling $27.6 million.
The figure compared with $80 million of Iranian carpet exports a year to the United States before the sanctions were imposed, bringing them to zero, the IRNA news agency quoted him as saying.
Kargar said Iran exported $83 million of carpets in total in the first quarter of its calendar year, a rise of about 40% year-on-year.
Iranian caviar, pistachios, saffron and carpets and US commercial aircraft and their parts are among the items allowed for limited business with the US.
Carpets are a major source of revenue for Iran’s $400 billion economy behind oil and gas and their derivatives, and pistachio nuts.
In 2011, the country exported more than $600 million worth of carpets and sought to raise it to $1 billion in the next year but intensified sanctions disrupted the plan.
In the United States, Persian carpets are offered from $200,000 to $5,000 a piece depending on the type of the fabric, design and intricacy employed in their making.
Those produced in India, Pakistan and China sell for about half the price of Persian carpets due to their lower quality, according to dealers.
In recent years, Iranian rug dealers have switched to the Asian market, catering especially to the growing crave in China and the UAE where many affluent families see exotic Persian carpets as a way of investment.
Iran’s carpet exports to US at $50mn
Iran says its exports of hand-woven carpets to the United States have reached around $50 million since the removal of sanctions in January.
Hamid Kargar, head of the Iran National Carpet Center, told Reuters that Iran was under pressure in the US market by rivals such as India, Pakistan and Turkey during the years that the sanctions were in place.
Kargar emphasized that the world’s largest buyer imported more than $80 million worth from Iran in 2010, before the trade embargo on the country was tightened.
He emphasized that a growth in exports of hand-woven carpets will have a positive impact on the lives of the carpet weavers in the country.
There are almost 1 million carpet weavers in Iran, 700,000 of whom are working full-time, Kargar said.
Between March and September this year, Iran exported $134 million worth of handmade carpets, or 2,330 tons, to 80 countries, Reuters said. That was a 17.7 percent increase in value and 10 percent rise in weight compared to a year earlier.
During the sanctions years, Iran partially compensated for its loss of market share in the United States and Europe by finding new buyers in Russia, China, South Africa and some Latin American countries, the report added. It still holds about 30 percent of the global trade in handmade carpets, Kargar further told Reuters.
Iran shipped its first cargo of hand-woven carpets – globally considered the crown jewel of its handicrafts industry – to the US in February after the sanctions against the country were lifted.
The cargo was sent to Los Angeles from Hamburg.
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