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EghtesadOnline: Iran exported 1.178 million tons of food products worth $2.7 billion to more than 80 countries during the fiscal 2016-17, registering an 8% increase in value compared to the year before.

"The figures on food exports are worthy of taking pride in. Since the food industry generates more added value in exports compared to agricultural products, this sector is of top importance in the economy," the deputy head of Trade Promotion Organization of Iran, Mohammad Reza Modoudi, was quoted as saying by IRNA.

The official noted that during the period, dairy product exports grew by 19% in value year-on-year, vegetable oil by 15.6%, essence and herbal drinks by 16.6%, and "miscellaneous food items" by 14.4%.

In addition, the export of biscuits, sweets and chocolates grew 10%, sugar cube, sugar and its related products 4.1%, grain 3.7%, macaroni and baker's yeast 2% and tomato 1%, IRIB News reported.

According to Financial Tribune, compote and canned food exports decreased by 5%, fruit juice concentrates and juice by 29%, honey by 16% and drinks by 10%.

Dairy products had the biggest share in Iran's food exports last year, reaching 387,000 tons worth $634 million during the year, up by 9.3% and 19% in volume and value respectively year-on-year.

Mainly targeting Iraqi and Afghan markets among others, Iran shipped $489.3 million worth of 194,000 tons of sweets, chocolates and biscuits last year, indicating an increase of 10% in value and 2.5% in volume.

Exports of fruit juice concentrates and juice dropped considerably both in value and volume by 29% and 22.4% respectively year-on-year, with over 60,000 tons worth $72.5 million having been shipped overseas.

Iran's self-sufficiency in food production has improved by 24% since the government of President Hassan Rouhani took office, mainly thanks to higher production of wheat and sugar.

The rate stood at 55% when Rouhani took office in August 2013. It rose to 65%, 72% and 79% in the following years compared to the fiscal 2016-17.

A record high of 14 million tons of wheat was domestically produced in the last fiscal year. Not only did this bring about self-sufficiency after more than a decade, it also allowed for the export of surplus to global markets.For the first time in the history of the ISlamic Republic, Iran exported 200,000 tons of wheat flour in the last three months to regional countries and Europe, Deputy Agriculture Minister Ali Akbar Mehrfard was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency on May 25.

Iran Food Iran food exports