EghtesadOnline: At the request of Agriculture Minister Mahmoud Hojjati, the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration has halted order registrations for rice imports on Sunday.
The ban will remain in effect until further notice, IRNA reported. In a letter to Industries Minister Mohammad Shariatmadari on Nov. 26, Hojjati asked for the ban on rice imports to be reinstated amid excessive imports. Latest data show more than 1.06 million tons of rice worth over $1 billion were imported during the seven months to Oct. 22, indicating a 40% rise in weight compared with last year’s corresponding period. During the rice harvest season, the government bans rice imports in support of local farmers and production. Import tariffs have increased from 22% some four years ago to 40% at present for the same reason. The temporary ban was lifted on Nov. 21 as per the directive of the Industries Ministry and was supposed to last until July 22, 2018. Iranians consume 3 million tons of rice while domestic production stands at 2.2 million tons per year, which calls for imports to compensate the shortage, according to Financial Tribune.