EghtesadOnline: Iran exported 209,337 tons of tomatoes worth about $98 million during the two months ending May 20, according to the spokesman of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration.
Rouhollah Latifi added that Iranian tomatoes were exported to 11 countries during the period, noting that Iraq was the top destination with 125,974 tons worth $57.37 million.
Iraq was followed by Afghanistan with 56,695 tons worth $26.12 million and the UAE with 16,540 tons worth $8.09 million.
Russia was next with $3.57 million, followed by Qatar with $2.04 million and Oman with $338,312, ILNA reported.
Latifi noted that regular customers of Iranian tomatoes, including Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Bulgaria, Syria and Kyrgyzstan, were unable to import tomatoes from Iran during the period under review due to border restrictions.
According to Director General of Agriculture Ministry’s Greenhouse, Medicinal Plants and Edible Mushroom Affairs Bureau Gholamreza Taqavi, Iran is the world’s seventh biggest tomato producer.
Global statistics show China, the US, India, Turkey, Italy, Brazil, Iran, Spain, Mexico and Russia are the world’s biggest tomato producers while Spain, Italy and Greece are major exporters of processed tomatoes.
Greenhouse tomatoes have a 6% share in Iran's overall tomato production.
Plans are to expand greenhouse cultivation in Iran, as greenhouse tomato production is targeted to reach 682,000 tons by 2022.
Yazd Province is Iran’s top tomato producer with 76,000 tons, followed by the provinces of Bushehr with 51,000 tons, Hormozgan with 48,000 tons, Isfahan with 31,000 tons, East Azarbaijan with 20,000 tons, Markazi with 15,000 tons, Khuzestan with 12,000 tons, Kerman with 9,700 tons, Hamedan with 9,600 tons and Khorasan Razavi with 9,000 tons per year.
Iran exported more than 4.5 million tons of fruits and vegetables worth $1.65 billion during the last fiscal year (ended March 19, 2020) to register an 11.5% and 12% rise in tonnage and value respectively compared to the year before.
According to Mahmoud Bazari, director of Exports Bureau of the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran, fruits and vegetables accounted for 22% of Iran's total agrifood exports ($5.8 billion) during the period under review.
Bazari noted that the outbreak of Covid-19 has slowed down Iran’s fruit and vegetable exports, and it is predicted that exports would suffer a considerable decline this year, TPO reported on its website.