EghtesadOnline: Close to 89,220 tons of different kinds of dates worth more than $102 million were exported from Iran to 69 countries during the first four months of the current Iranian year (March 21-July 22).
This shows a 14.4% and 27.7% rise in weight and value respectively compared with the similar period of last year, figures released by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration show.
The top 10 export destinations for Iranian dates during the period were India with $17.87 million worth of imports, Iraq with $14.8 million, Pakistan with $14.6 million, Turkey with $12.62 million, Kazakhstan with $8.2 million, Afghanistan with $5 million, the UAE with $3.95 million, Russian with $3 million, Azerbaijan with $2.33 million and Malaysia with $1.98 million.
Around 1.2 million tons of dates were produced in Iran in the last Iranian year (March 2017-18), more than 181,000 tons of which were exported, Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture reported, citing data released by the Statistical Center of Iran and IRICA, Financial Tribune reported.
Pakistan, India and Kazakhstan with 44,000 tons, 39,000 tons and 28,000 tons of purchases respectively were Iran’s top three export destinations.
Dates were cultivated on 170,000 hectares of palm-groves in the country last year with the provinces of Kerman and Sistan-Baluchestan both in the southeast and Khuzestan in the south being the biggest producers.
According to Mohsen Rashid Farrokhi, chairman of the National Association of Iranian Dates, Egypt, Iran and Saudi Arabia are the world’s biggest producers of dates with 1.4 million tons, 1.2 million tons and 1.1 million tons per year respectively.
“Yet, Iran is the biggest exporter of the crop,” Farrokhi also told Financial Tribune in an interview last year, adding that Egypt ranks second, with Saudi Arabia and Tunisia sharing the third spot.
Per capita date consumption in Iran is 3 kilograms.