EghtesadOnline: The Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration has issued a directive to ban wheat import.
The directive, which concerns all types of wheat, follows a request submitted earlier by the Agriculture Ministry to IRICA, Mehr News Agency reported.
With an output of 14 million tons, Iran achieved self-sufficiency in wheat production last year (March 2016-17) for the first time in the country’s history.
According to Deputy Agriculture minister Ali Qanbari, the self-sufficiency is expected to endure in the current year, Financial Tribune reported.
Iran exported its first wheat consignment in June by shipping 29,630 tons from Imam Khomeini Port in the city of Mahshahr in the southern Khuzestan Province to Oman.
“The shipment is part of the 2 million tons of surplus wheat produced last year.
Back then, the government aimed to export this surplus and the very first shipment headed to the neighboring Oman at around 11 a.m. on June 12,” Mohammad Reza Zarei, the head of Food Bulk Carriage Affairs Office at the Bulk and General Cargo Carriage Company affiliated to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, told Financial Tribune.
Zarei noted that proper marketing was done in Oman and plans are underway to strike similar deals with Turkey and European countries.
Iran also exported 200,000 tons of wheat flour this year for the first time to regional countries and Europe.
Head of Plant Protection Organization of Iran Mohammad Ali Baghestani said wheat production is estimated to decline by 6-7% this year as a result of lower precipitation and the sunn pest that has infested some rain-fed farms.
“However, hopes are high about attaining self-sufficiency as in the previous year,” he said.
Chairman of the Government Trading Corporation Yazdan Seif said on Tuesday GTC has purchased more than 8.5 million tons of wheat worth 110 trillion rials ($2.88 billion) from local farmers so far this year.
GTC is a government-owned company specialized in the purchase, import and distribution of essential foodstuff. It is the lever for enforcing market controls.
The provinces of Khuzestan, Golestan, Fars and Kermanshah are top producers of wheat in Iran.