EghtesadOnline: With the aim of regulating the domestic market, the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade will enforce duties on tomato export as of Dec. 22, announced the director general of the ministry’s Economic Affairs and Commercial Policies Office.
Mohammad Reza Kalami Bajestan also highlighted that domestic demand is prioritized over export, IRNA reported.
The price of tomatoes has been on the rise since last week, going up from 50,000 rials ($0.41) to 150,000-200,000 rials ($1.23-1.64) per kilogram.
According to Asadollah Kargar, Central Fruit and Vegetable Market of Tehran, the reasons behind the increase in tomato prices include frostbite, shortage of supply, increase in transportation costs and exports, Financial Tribune reported.
According to the head of Iranian National Union of Agricultural Products, Reza Nourani, Iran has started exporting tomatoes to Pakistan in recent weeks.
In an interview with Mehr News Agency, the official said the volume of export is limited for the time being due to the fact that there was a delay in concluding agreements between Iranian and Pakistani firms.
Nourani also said that the exported products were cultivated in greenhouses due to the cold weather in autumn, adding that the volume of exports will increase gradually.
Earlier this month on Nov. 13, the Pakistani local media cited sources in Pakistan government as saying that the government was considering importing tomatoes from Iran to curb the product’s soaring prices.
“We will consider allowing the import of tomatoes from Iran,” Ministry of National Food Security Federal Secretary Federal Secretary Muhammad Hashim Popalzai told Dawn.
Latest data show Iran exported 98 tons of tomatoes worth $50.17 million during the first month of the current fiscal year (March 21-April 20), which indicates an 11.04% decline in weight but a 53.54% rise in value year-on-year, latest data released by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration show.
Armenia, Afghanistan, Ukraine, the UAE, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Syria, Iraq, Russia, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Georgia, Maldives and Azerbaijan Republic were the main customers of Iranian tomatoes during the period under review, Mizan Online reported.
Last year saw the export of tomatoes, except for crops produced in greenhouses, banned amid shortages in the domestic market and the ensuing rise in prices.
The ban was subsequently lifted after an adequate supply was restored.