EghtesadOnline: Iran exported about 1.37 million tons of processed food products worth more than $2.07 billion in the first nine months of the current fiscal year (March 21-Dec. 21) to register a 13% and 0.5% growth in weight and value respectively compared with the similar period of last year.
Secretary-General of the Federation of Iranian Food Associations Kaveh Zargaran also said processed food exports accounted for close to 6.6% of Iran’s total non-oil exports over the period.
Chocolate with around $188 million, cheese and dry whey with $154 million and yoghurt with $141 million were the main processed food shipped to overseas destinations, together accounting for 23% of the value of exports, ILNA quoted Zargaran as saying.
The official added that dairy products comprised 30% of the exports with more than 321,000 tons worth $620 million, showing a 5% and 9% growth in volume and value respectively year-on-year, Financial Tribune reported.
Zargaran, who is also the chairman of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture’s Agriculture Commission, explained that chocolate and confectionary, tomato paste and fruit juice and concentrates with $414 million, $139 million and $99 million worth of exports respectively were the top three exported groups over the period.
Potato products with $74 million and 153% YOY rise, and flour products with $57 million and 886% YOY upsurge saw the highest growth in exports.
Zargaran added that livestock, poultry and fish feed exports saw a 97% hike to stand at $57 million during the period.
On the import of processed food products, he said close to 3.4 million tons worth more than $3.46 billion were imported to Iran during the same period to register a 4% and 17% growth in weight and value respectively compared with the corresponding period of last year.
“The main imported products were rice (over $1 billion), raw vegetable oil ($989 million), meal ($957 million) and veal ($93 million),” he said.
The increase in food exports come as world food prices rose 8.2% in 2017 from the previous year, reaching their highest annual value since 2014, on an index compiled by the Food and Agriculture Organization.
Strong demand looks set to support world food prices in 2018, although the political situation in oil-producing countries and international trade negotiations may herald more volatility, a United Nations food agency economist said on Thursday.
“The general sentiment is that we know what supplies are and there is no excuse to think demand would get weak … so there is momentum being built,” FAO senior economist Abdolreza Abbassian was quoted as saying by Reuters.