EghtesadOnline: Iran's apple production is estimated to decrease by more than 30% in the current Iranian year (March 2018-19) to reach 2.6 million tons, a board member of Iran’s Orchard Owners Union said.
“Though we will be experiencing a decrease in production, there will be no problem in meeting domestic demand or our export markets for that matter,” Mojtaba Shadlou was also quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.
The official added that last year a bumper production of 3.9 million tons disrupted the market balance and caused producers to incur losses.
“This year we expect a moderate amount of production. Domestic demand for apples currently stands at around 1.5 million tons per year and the surplus is exported,” Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.
Some 800,000 tons of apples have been exported from Iran since the beginning of the current Iranian year on March 21, which is a record high, an official with the Agriculture Ministry said in September.
“Last year’s [March 2017-18] total exports stood at close to 600,000 tons. Iran’s apple exports go to Middle Eastern countries, especially the Iraqi Kurdistan region, Pakistan and Turkey, as well as some European countries,” Shokrollah Hajivand was also quoted as saying by IRNA.
Based on figures released by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Iran is the ninth biggest producer of apples worldwide. In exports, the country ranks ninth in terms of weight and 14th in value. “The country accounts for 1.87% and 4.05% of the global production and exports respectively,” the deputy head of Export Promotion Office with the Agriculture Ministry, told Financial Tribune last year.
Iran follows China, the US, Poland, India, Turkey, Italy, Chile and Russia as the world's biggest apple producers in a descending order.
Apples are cultivated every year on over 250,000 hectares of orchards across the country. The three main provinces producing apples in Iran are East and West Azarbaijan, as well as Tehran.
West Azarbaijan Province is a major apple production hub of Iran with more than 112,500 hectares of fruit orchards, more than half of which produce apples.