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EghtesadOnline: Despite sanctions and limitations on international money transfer, Iran will import 1.1 million tons of raw vegetable oil, including those from soybean, sunflowers, palm and sesame, in the fiscal 2019-20, just as it did last year, the secretary of Iranian Vegetable Oil Industry Association said.

“Last year, the country imported sunflower oil from Russia, Ukraine and Argentina, soybean oil from Argentina, Brazil, Russia, Ukraine and South America, and palm oil from Malaysia and Indonesia. Sesame oil is not categorized within 25 categories of essential goods to import, for which the government allocates subsidized foreign currency, so importers have to provide their needed foreign currency from export earnings of non-oil products traded on Nima [the so-called secondary FX market},” Amir-Houshang Birashk added.

As more than 85% of the raw materials needed by Iran's vegetable oil industry are supplied through imports, the official said the Central Bank of Iran’s timely allocation of foreign currency for imports is of vital importance, Financial Tribune reported.

In Iran, the domestic need for raw vegetable oil stands at 1.5 million tons per annum. A total of 65 factories are active in vegetable oil processing, IRNA reported. 

The consumer price index for “oils and fats” saw a year-on-year increase of 53% in the first Iranian month (March 21-April 20) compared with the similar month of last year, the Statistical Center of Iran's latest report shows.  

The CPI (using the Iranian year to March 2017 as the base year) stood at 172.9 in the same month, indicating a 1.8% rise compared with the previous month. 

In the 12-month period ending April 20, the average index increased by 35.2% compared with last year’s corresponding period.

A 900-gram bottle of vegetable oil was sold at 78,972 rials (about 54 cents) in the Iranian month that ended on April 20, indicating a 0.9% rise month-on-month and a 46.2% increase year-on-year.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ representative office began a Technical Cooperation Program called "Capacity Building for Increasing Sustainable Oilseed Production Focused on Soybean Value" in Tehran in 2017.

The main objectives pursued in the project are building capacity in the public and private sectors for using innovative methods in producing sustainable crops and applying these methods to the oilseed value chain as well as integrating the latest technologies into cereal-based production systems.

The Technical Cooperation Program was created to enable FAO to make its know-how and technical expertise available to member countries upon request, drawing from its own resources. 

The TCP provides assistance in all areas pertaining to FAO’s mandate and competence that are covered by the Strategic Framework to respond to governments’ priority needs. TCP projects catalyze change, foster capacity development and assist countries in mobilizing resources, in line with the Country Programming Frameworks agreed to with governments.


Iran sanctions money transfer imports Raw Vegetable Oil