With Brazil as its first partner in the region Iran had a threefold increase in its trade with Latin America and Argentina has become its second partner in the region (replacing Mexico) according to Latin Business Chronicle based on data form the International Monetary Fund.
Brazil remains Iran's main trading partner in the region and the main exporter but Ecuador has replaced Peru as the main importer of Iranian produce to the region says the report.
Iran-Latin American trade soared 209% in 2008, totaling 2.9 billion US dollars with a surplus of 2.5 billion for the region.
Bilateral trade with Brazil reached US$ 1.26 billion in 2008, up 88% from 2007, based on IMF data. However during the recent visit of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, last week, Brazilian sources said trade in 2007 had been US$ 2 billion.
Neither Brazil nor Iran has published statistics on their bilateral trade according to Latin Business Chronicle.
Trade with Argentina totaled US 1.2 billion in 2008, a dramatic increase compared to the US$ 30 million of 2007.
Trade is overwhelmingly favorable for Argentine exports and has advanced in spite of the diplomatic rift between the two countries following Argentina's claim that Iran was behind the terrorist bombing of a Jewish institution in Buenos Aires back in 1994 which killed dozens and injured hundreds.
With Ecuador trade also zoomed to US$ 168 million in 2008 from a mere 6 million the year before. Trade is dominated by Iranian imports to Ecuador.
In spite of the excellent political and diplomatic ties between Venezuela and Iran, bilateral trade is minimum: US$ 52 million in 2008, up 31% from the previous year. Thus Venezuela figures as Iran's fifth trade partner in the region.
Other significant Iranian trade partners in the region are Mexico, Peru, Chile and Uruguay. Since the Iranian revolution Uruguay has become a strong supplier of rice, wool, and skins and on occasion beef.
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