EghtesadOnline: Egg exports from Iran have recently come to a halt, as the country is not able to conclude deals with foreign markets due to its high base prices, rendering the Iranian product uncompetitive in international markets, secretary-general of Iran’s Union of Producers of Egg-Laying Hen said.
Farzad Talakesh also told Financial Tribune in an interview that since April 21, Iran has exported around 3,700 tons of eggs, 3,600 tons to Afghanistan and 100 tons to Qatar.
“Although demand from these two markets still exists, the exports have now come to a halt since Iranian exporters cannot sign deals at high egg prices compared to those from Turkey or Ukraine,” he added.
According to the official, Iranian egg exporters currently do not have the government’s support, in the form of export incentives, Financial Tribune reported.
“Since the pace and rate of egg consumption in the country is not regular and varies from time to time, prices also fluctuate accordingly. For example, in the holy month of Ramadan, consumption goes up and so do the prices,” he said.
The official noted that changes in prices and lack of government support result in high base prices that discourage buyers of Iranian eggs.
“By enjoying government support in the forms of tax exemption or export incentives, the Turkish egg exporters are now having a considerable share in the regional markets,” he said.
Iran, India, Pakistan, Ukraine and Turkey have traditionally been the main suppliers of eggs in the region.
With regard to Iraq, one of the major importers of Iranian eggs, Talakesh said there has been no export to the neighboring country because the Iraqi customs administration has yet to open doors to Iranian exporters in spite of the fact that the health and veterinary issues between the two countries have been settled.
Iraq and Afghanistan banned the import of Iranian eggs and chicken early December 2016 after an outbreak of H5N8 bird flu virus in Iranian farms. The strain is deadly for poultry.
H5N8 was first detected in Iran in late November 2016. After months of tough struggle, the head of the board of directors at Tehran’s Union of Producers of Egg-Laying Hen, Nasser Nabipour, told Mehr News Agency on May 6 that Iran Veterinary Organization has informed the World Organization for Animal Health that the country had rid itself of this virus.
Referring to the effects of this highly contagious bird flu, Talakesh said the outbreak did a number on egg exports in the fiscal 2016-17, given that the avian influenza had spread across 24 Iranian provinces leading to the culling of some 12 million chickens.
Last year, Iran exported 40,000 tons of eggs, some 55,000 tons less than in the previous year.
“This year’s (March 2017-18) export is estimated to reach 930,000-940,000 tons, 50,000 tons of which will be in excess of domestic demand. Considering the ongoing trend, it’s unlikely to achieve the goal of exporting this 50,000 tons,” he said.
Talakesh noted that Iran’s egg exports boomed in the fiscal 2015-16 when the country exported some 95,000 tons of eggs to Afghanistan, Iraq and Oman, registering a 52,000-ton increase year-on-year.