EghtesadOnline: Around $80 billion worth of agricultural products are produced in Iran every year, $75 billion of which are consumed inside the country, the agriculture minister said.
“Iran currently meets 85% of its demand for agricultural products domestically and the rest is procured through imports,” Mahmoud Hojjati was also quoted as saying by Fars News Agency.
The official added that Iran’s main imports include livestock and poultry feed as well as oilcake and soybeans, which are mainly purchased from the Americas.
Based on the latest report released by the National Agriculture and Water Strategic Research Center, which draws on data provided by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration, Iran recorded an agrifood trade deficit of more than $3.64 billion for the first 11 months of the last Iranian year (March 21, 2018-Feb. 19), which shows a 7.1% improvement year-on-year, according to Financial Tribune.
More than 6.38 million tons of agricultural and food products worth over $5.85 billion were exported from Iran during the period to register close to a 1% increase in value compared with last year's corresponding period.
Agrifood exports accounted for 6% and 14.5% of the volume and value of Iran's total non-oil exports of 105.9 million tons worth $40.07 billion respectively over the period, the news portal of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture reported.
The exports mainly included fruits worth $1.34 million, vegetables worth $1.18 billion, milk and dairy products worth $555 million, saffron worth $319.2 million and fish and shrimps worth $297 million, accounting for 23%, 20.4%, 9.5%, 5.5% and 5.1% of the total value of agrifood exports respectively during the period.
Iraq, Afghanistan, the UAE, Pakistan, Russia, Turkey, Vietnam, Turkmenistan and Germany were the biggest export destinations in a descending order, as around 80% of Iran’s agrifood exports went to these nine countries.
The import of agrifood products during the same period stood close to 18.17 million tons valued at more than $9.44 billion, which shows a 2.3% decline in value compared with the corresponding period of the preceding year.
The imports accounted for 62.8% and 24.5% of the total volume and value of Iran’s total non-oil imports of 28.92 million tons worth $38.5 billion respectively.
The main imported agrifood products during the period included corn ($1.89 billion), rice ($1.35 billion), soybeans ($1.08 billion), vegetable oils ($882 million), red meat ($683 million), oilcake ($557 million), barley ($536 million) and fruits ($364 million), accounting for 20%, 14.3%, 11.5%, 9.3%, 7.2%, 5.9%, 5.7% and 3.9% of all agrifood imports respectively during the nine months.
The above-mentioned products accounted for 78% of the total value of agrifood imports over the period.
The biggest exporters to Iran were the UAE ($890 million), India ($797 million), the Netherlands ($742 million), Switzerland ($734 million), the UK ($725 million), Singapore ($663 million), Russia ($525 million), Turkey ($499 million), Brazil ($381 million), Germany ($221 million) and Pakistan ($152 million).
The above-mentioned countries accounted for nearly 67% of Iran's total agrifood imports.