EghtesadOnline: Iran exported 171,540 tons of apples worth $83.24 million to 24 countries in the first seven months of the current Iranian year (March 21-Oct. 22), showing a 106.13% and 135.54% upsurge in weight and value respectively compared with the corresponding period of last year.
The figures were released by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration, ISNA reported.
Afghanistan with 45,000 tons, Russia with 42,000 tons and Iraq with 30,000 tons were the main export destinations during the seven-month period.
"Iran's apple production is estimated to decline by more than 30% in the current Iranian year (March 2018-19) to reach 2.6 million tons," Financial Tribune quoted a board member of Iran’s Orchard Owners Union as saying.
“Though we will be experiencing a decline in production, there will be no problem in meeting domestic demand or our export markets,” 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,” he said.
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.
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 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.