The sudden decline reflected US president Donald Trump decision to break from an international nuclear agreement and reimpose economic sanctions on Iran.
Overall, Iran’s import of plastics & rubber machinery fell 13.4% year-on-year in 2017 to €205 million.
China continued to lead the table of rubber & plastics machinery exporters to Iran by a high margin at €99 million, despite registering a 33.7% decline compared to 2016.
Trade with Italy also took a downward turn for the year 2017 at €16.4 million, 17.6% 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% and 62%, in exports to the Islamic Republic.
Since 2015, the VDMA organises an ‘Iran management meeting’ for its members.
In May this year, the association voiced its support for EU 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 US,” said VDMA chief executive Thilo Brodtmann in an 18 May statement.
The comments followed an EU move on 17 May to reactivate “Blocking Statute”, which bans European companies and courts from complying with US sanctions against Iran.
This followed Washington’s pull-out of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal, earlier in the month.