EghtesadOnline: Around 236,000 tons of wheat worth $84 million were exported from Iran during the first 10 months of the current Iranian year (March 21, 2017- Jan. 20), registering a whopping 1,317% and 724% growth in weight and value respectively compared with the similar period of last year.
This was announced by Abdolmehdi Bakhshandeh, deputy agriculture minister for planning and economic affairs, Mehr News Agency reported.
Iran exported its first wheat consignment of 29,630 tons to neighboring Oman on June 12, 2017.
Iran has been self sufficient in wheat production for two years now and only imports wheat for export purposes after processing it into flour, according to Financial Tribune.
“The country recently agreed to buy the grain from Russia and Kazakhstan. Total shipments may reach as much as 1 million tons a year over the next five years,” Chairman of the Agriculture Committee of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture Kaveh Zargaran said.
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, who oversees trade with Iran, said he expects sales to Iran to reach 1.5 million tons a year.
“Shipments may start at the end of next month, if Iran’s private millers can obtain loans to buy the grain,” Zargaran was quoted as saying by Bloomberg earlier this month.
“The agreement [with Russia and Kazakhstan] leaves in place a ban on import of wheat for domestic use, which is designed to support local farmers.”
Iran has been encouraging flour exports, with the government amending some market rules last year and targeting more sales to Iraq and Afghanistan.
“There is unused capacity at Iran’s flour mills,” Zargaran said.
Based on FAO’s report released earlier this month, Iran’s wheat production in 2018 is forecast to stand at 12 million tons, which will indicate an 11.1% decline compared with the estimated amount of 2017. Iran produced 11.1 million tons of the crop in 2016.