TEHRAN, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- Trade between Iran and the European Union (EU) member states amounted to 14.89 billion euros (16.89 million U.S. dollars) in the first three quarters of 2018, Eghtesadonline news website reported on Saturday.
The figure registered a 7.5-percent rise in the mutual trade in the nine months, compared with the corresponding period last year.
Iran's top five trade partners over the period were Italy, Spain, Germany, France and Greece with 3.78 billion euros, 2.31 billion euros, 2.28 billion euros, 2.25 billion euros and 1.11 billion euros worth of commercial exchanges, respectively.
Iran experienced decline in trade with Cyprus, Malta, Portugal, Bulgaria and Ireland.
Iran exported 8.3 billion euros worth of commodities to EU member states during the nine-month period, which shows a 25.1-percent rise compared with the same period last year.
The top exported commodities included mineral fuel, mineral oil and products of their distillation, bituminous substances and mineral waxes, iron and steel, edible fruit and nuts, zest of citrus fruit or melons.
As for Iran's imports from the EU during the first nine months of 2018, they decreased by eight percent compared with the same period of the past year to stand at over 6.59 billion euros.
The imported products mainly included nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances and parts, vehicles other than rail or tramway rolling stock, electrical machinery and equipment.
The EU is working on a special transaction channel, called Special Purpose Vehicle, away from the U.S. financial system to keep up trade with Iran in the face of the recently reimposed U.S. sanctions against Iran.
The Special Purpose Vehicle, announced first by the European Union's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, is said to involve a barter system that would allow firms to bypass the SWIFT international bank transfer system.