EghtesadOnline: About 2,500 tons of olive oil worth 400 billion rials ($9.5 million) were imported into Iran from eight countries during the first 10 months of the current Iranian year (March 21, 2018-Jan. 20), latest data released by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration show.
Turkey was the biggest exporter with over 1,000 tons worth $3.36 million.
Other major exporters of olive oil to Iran during the period were Italy, Spain, France and Syria, Mizan Online reported.
Rahmatollah Parichehr, the manager of “Olive Project” carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture’s Horticulture Department, recently said 7,100 tons of olive oil have been produced in Iran since the beginning of the current Iranian year (March 21, 2018), according to Financial Tribune.
According to the official, this year's production shows a 30% rise year-on-year.
“More than 100,000 tons of olives have been produced in the country, 10,000 tons more than what we had initially predicted. This year, we used around 45% of the olives cultivated in orchards across the country to produce olive oil and the rest were used to make conserves,” he was quoted as saying by ILNA.
Per capita olive oil consumption in Iran currently stands at 180 grams per year, up from 135 grams last year. This is while in Europe the average amount is about 11 kilograms.
The Sixth Five-Year Development Plan (2017-22) has set the target of 200,000 tons per year in olive oil production.
Iran is ranked 14th in the world by the International Olive Council in terms of area under olive cultivation and 17th in terms of production, the Agriculture Ministry’s head of the Expansion and Improvement of Olive Orchards Group, Mahmoud Emami, told Financial Tribune last year.
Emami added that the average global per capita olive oil consumption is at 430 grams—about three times more than in Iran.
However, Iranians eat more olive in brine as, according to Emami, per capita consumption in Iran stands at 850 grams against 360 grams in the world.
“The quality of Iran’s olive and olive oil is unrivaled, owing to the country’s distinctive climate. Olive tree is subtropical and so are most regions in Iran. Olive trees are exposed to direct sunlight for a prolonged period of time here, which is considered a comparative advantage for olives cultivated in our country,” he said.
The Agriculture Ministry plans to increase olive production to around 200,000 tons by 2022 and increase per capita consumption of olive oil to 190 grams per year.
Leading olive growing regions in Iran include Fars, Kerman, Hormozgan, Sistan-Baluchestan, Qazvin, Gilan, Golestan and Zanjan provinces.