EghtesadOnline: A total of 3,277 tons of virgin olive oil worth $12.14 million were imported into Iran in the last Iranian year (March 2018-19), data released by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration show.
Turkey, Italy, Spain, France and Syria were the main exporters of the product to Iran during the period, Mizan Online reported.
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 closer to 11 kilograms, according to Financial Tribune.
The average global per capita olive oil consumption is at 430 grams—about three times the Iranian rate.
A total of 147,000 tons of olives have been produced on 92,000 hectares of plantations since the beginning of the current Iranian year (March 21, 2019) to register a 43% year-on-year rise, the executive of the “Olive Project” implemented by the Agriculture Ministry’s Horticulture Department said last week.
“More than 11,647 tons of olive oil have been extracted from about 50% of this volume of production, which shows an 80% YOY rise,” Rahmatollah Parichehr was quoted as saying by IRNA.
The rest, the official added, have been brined.
The annual domestic demand for olive oil currently stands at close to 15,000 tons, he added, noting that more than 3,000 tons of olive oil are imported annually.
Iranians eat more olive in brine as, according to the Ministry of Agriculture’s Olive Orchards Group, per capita consumption in Iran stands at 850 grams against 360 grams in the world.
The Agriculture Ministry plans to increase annual olive production to 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.