EghtesadOnline: Atotal of 8.86 million tons of essential goods worth $3.97 billion were imported into Iran during the first four months of the current fiscal year (March 20-July 21), registering a 0.41% increase in weight but a 30% decline in value compared with the corresponding period of last year, according to Rouhollah Latifi, the spokesman of Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration.
“The country had imported 8.83 million tons worth $5.74 billion in the four-month period ending July 22, 2019,” Mehr News Agency quoted the official as saying.
Noting that the country is not facing a shortage of essential goods, he added that these are the figures on imported essential goods, some of which have been discharged and the remaining need to undergo customs procedures.
According to the latest statistics released three weeks ago, about 3.5 million tons of essential goods have yet to be cleared by customs offices.
Over the four-month period, a total of 356,000 tons of rice; two million tons of wheat; 11,777 tons of frozen red meat; 3,458 tons of fresh red meat; 44 tons of chicken; 371,232 tons of soymeal; 3,737,177 tons of corn; 698,463 tons of barley; 127 tons of livestock medicine; 24,864 tons of fertilizers; 1,640 tons of pesticides; 2,051 tons of seeds; 541,414 tons of raw sugar; 252,126 tons of edible oil; 68,081 tons of pulses; 575,571 tons of oilseeds; 20,598 tons of heavy tires; 74,577 tons of publication paper; 2,206 tons of newsprint; 75,925 tons of paper pulp; 18,847 tons of dried tea; 5,423 tons of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment; 4,644 tons of butter and 11,669 tons of machinery used in the manufacture of essential goods were imported to the country.
Also known as necessity goods, essential goods are products consumers will buy, regardless of changes in income levels.
Amid high inflation and diminished purchasing power, the Iranian government has sought to ensure a steady supply of essential goods at subsidized prices.
Imam Khomeini Port in the southern Khuzestan Province is the main hub for the import of essential goods in Iran.
According to Adel Deris, director general of Khuzestan’s Ports and Maritime Organization, the port possesses 40 wharfs, 140 kilometers of railroads and the latest loading and unloading facilities.
Close to 90% of Iran's demand for livestock feed raw material as well as 79% of grains are imported through this southern port.
A total of 25.09 million tons of essential goods worth close to $15.5 billion were imported into Iran during the last fiscal year (March 2019-20) to register a 20.77% and 17.13% increase in weight and value respectively compared with the year before.
“This amount of imported essential goods accounted for 71% and 35% of the volume and value of last year’s total imports respectively,” the IRICA spokesman was quoted as saying by ISNA.
“The imported essential commodities included wheat, sugar, corn, rubber, barley, processed tea, rice, different kinds of seeds, red meat, soybeans, pulses, paper, fertilizers and industrial machinery.”