TEHRAN, Iran—Germany's plastics and rubber machinery trade association, the VDMA, has highlighted the importance of the Iranian market ahead of the Iranplast trade show, to be held in Tehran Sept. 24-27.
Germany came second to China in 2017 with nearly $45 million in machinery exports, posting 87.3 percent growth compared to the previous year.
However, for the first six months of 2018, German plastics and rubber machinery exports to the country came in at just $18 million, 30.9 percent lower than than first half of 2017.
The sudden decline reflected President Trump's decision to break from an international nuclear agreement and reimpose economic sanctions on Iran.
Overall, Iran's import of plastics and rubber machinery fell 13.4 percent year-on-year in 2017 to $240 million.
China continued to lead the table of rubber and plastics machinery exporters to Iran by a high margin at $116 million, despite registering a 33.7 percent decline compared to 2016.
Trade with Italy also took a downward turn for the year 2017 at $19 million, 17.6 percent lower than the previous year.
Canada, Japan, Taiwan and Korea all registered strong growth in sales of machinery to Iran during 2017, while traditional suppliers, including Turkey and Austria saw significant declines, 10.7 percent and 62 percent, in exports to the Islamic Republic.
Since 2015, the VDMA organizes an 'Iran management meeting' for its members.
In May this year, the association voiced its support for European Union efforts to protect European companies against sanctions on their activities in Iran.
"We believe that the fundamental decision of the EU is right to finally tackle the problem of extra-territorial sanctions, as is currently the case in the U.S.," said VDMA chief executive Thilo Brodtmann in an May 18 statement.
The comments followed an EU move on May 17 to reactivate "Blocking Statute," which bans European companies and courts from complying with U.S. sanctions against Iran.
This followed Washington's pull-out of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal, earlier in the month.