EghtesadOnline: The biggest month-on-month price rise for a food item during the month ending Nov. 21 was recorded for tomatoes with 55.5%.
A kilogram of tomatoes was sold at 39,699 rials (32 cents) during the period under review.
The wild rise in the price of tomatoes reportedly stems from the vegetable’s shortage in the domestic market.
Prices reached as high as 150,000-200,000 rials ($1.19-1.59) per kilogram over the past few days, according to Financial Tribune.
With the aim of regulating the domestic market, the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade has imposed duties on the export of tomatoes as of Dec. 21, director general of the ministry's Economic Affairs and Commercial Policies Office, Mohammad Reza Kalami Bajestan, said recently.
According to Asadollah Kargar, the head of Fruit and Vegetable Sellers Union, besides the shortage of supply, other reasons behind the rising prices of tomatoes include frostbite, shortage of supply, increase in transportation costs and unregulated exports.
“Iran has been exporting tomatoes to Pakistan in recent weeks,” according to the head of the Iranian National Union of Agricultural Products, Reza Nourani.
In an interview with Mehr News Agency, the official said the volume of exports is limited for the time being due to the fact that there has been 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 price rise in Pakistan.
“We will consider allowing the import of tomatoes from Iran,” Ministry of National Food Security 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% decrease 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 adequate supply to the market was ensured.
The second and third biggest month-on-month price increases were registered for onions with 17.8% and eggs with 8.9%, the Statistical Center of Iran reported.
A kilogram of onions was sold at 32,037 rials (25 cents) and a kilogram of eggs went for 97,100 rials (78 cents) last month.
Eight out of 24 food prices SCI reports every month saw declines in the eighth Iranian month (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) compared with the month before.
The sharpest of such price decreases were recorded for oranges with a decrease of 24.7%, followed by apples with 6.1% and tomato paste with a 5.6% month-on-month deflation.
A kilogram of oranges were sold at 61,035 rials (49 cents), a kilogram of apples went for 64,647 rials (51 cents) and a kilogram of tomato paste was sold at 187,169 rials ($1.5).
Compared with the same period of last year, the retail prices for packed foreign tea during the month under review increased by 86.4%, the highest year-on-year price rise for a food item last month.
The second and third biggest year-on-year price rises in the same month among food items were registered for lamb with 59.7% and Iranian rice with 49.4%.
A kilogram of packed foreign tea was sold at 572,993 rials ($4.6), lamb 945,860 rials ($7.5) and a kilogram of Iranian rice was sold at 231,743 rials ($1.8).
With the coefficient of 26.64%, the Consumer Price Index of “food and beverages” stood at 215.6 in the month ending Nov. 21, indicating a 1.4% increase compared with the month before.
The “food and beverages” index registered a year-on-year increase of 29.8% compared with the similar month of last year.
CPI of “food and beverages” group in the 12-month period ending Nov. 21 increased by 58.5% compared with last year’s corresponding period, SCI reported.