EghtesadOnline: Iran’s agricultural and food exports amounted to around 6.13 million tons worth $5.93 billion in the last Iranian year (March 2017-18), registering a 5% and 4% growth in weight and value respectively compared with the previous year.
"Exports account for around 13% of the value of the country’s total non-oil exports over the period," Kaveh Zargaran, the head of Agricultural Commission with Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, said.
Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration's latest report shows Iran exported 132.3 million tons of non-oil goods worth $46.93 billion last year, indicating a 6.56% rise year-on-year, according to Financial Tribune.
Citing IRICA data, Zargaran said the export of agricultural products stood at close to 4.2 million tons worth $3.1 billion during the period under review, registering a 0.6% and 9.7% growth in volume and value respectively, IRNA reported.
Pistachio, with 130,000 tons worth $1.17 billion, was the main exported agro product last year to register a 5.7% and 8.8% decline in weight and value respectively compared with the year before.
Saffron came next with more than 236 tons worth $325 million. The expensive Persian spice broke a 10-year record in exports last year. The figures show a 55% and 56% growth in volume and value respectively YOY.
Apple exports at 604,000 tons worth $256 million also broke a 10-year record with a 71% and 132% upsurge in weight and value respectively.
Food exports over the same period amounted to 1.94 million tons worth more than $2.82 billion, registering a 17% rise in weight and a 1.7% decline in value.
Dairy products with nearly $381,000 tons worth over $706 million topped the list of last year’s food exports. Yet, the figures show 12% and 9% YOY declines in weight and value respectively.
Following dairy were chocolate and pastry with more than $590 million and tomato paste with $192 million worth of exports.
Zargaran, who doubles as the Secretary-General of the Federation of Iranian Food Associations, noted that the main export destinations for Iranian agricultural and food products during the period were Iraq, Afghanistan and the UAE, sharing among themselves more than 50% of Iran’s exports.
The official added that close to 18 million tons of agro and foodstuff products worth around $9.8 billion were imported into the country last year, registering an 8% and 14% YOY growth in volume and value respectively.
The top three imported products were field corn worth $1.6 billion, rice worth $1.2 billion and soybeans worth $943 million.
Field corn was Iran’s second biggest imported item last year, as the country imported $1.61 billion worth of the staple, accounting for 3% of overall imports.
Iran’s total agricultural trade stood at around $15.73 billion last year, registering a deficit of $3.87 billion.