EghtesadOnline: A total of 152,576 tons of dairy products worth $154 million were exported from Iran to 30 countries during the first four months of the current Iranian year (March 20-July 21), according to the spokesman of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration.
“Our main exported dairy products were cheese, shredded cheese, whey, dried whey, fat and oil derived from milk, packaged butter, yogurt and yogurt drink, cream, milk powder and infant formula,” Rouhollah Latifi was quoted as saying by IRNA.
Canada, Germany, the UK, Australia, Russia, Turkey, Malaysia, the UAE, Bahrain, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Iraq and New Zealand were the main export destinations.
Iran is among the top milk producing countries.
“More than 11 million tons of milk were produced in the country in the last Iranian year (March 2019-20),” said Morteza Rezaei, the deputy agriculture minister for livestock affairs.
“Over 700,000 tons of milk and dairy products, as well as 50,000 tons of milk powder, were exported during the period.”
He says plans are underway to become self-sufficient in butter production using domestically-produced milk.
According to Ahmad Moqaddasi, the head of Iran’s Cattle Owners Union, Iran’s per capita milk and dairy products consumption currently stands at 117 kilograms per year, which is 48 kilograms lower than the annual global average of 165 kilos.
The Iranian dairy industry’s annual nominal production capacity stands at 12 million tons.
According to deputy minister of industries, mining and trade, Mehdi Sadeqi-Niyaraki, there are currently more than 650 licensed dairy production units active across the country.
"There are also active production units that have not acquired operation permits from the ministry,” he was quoted as saying by IRNA, adding that these units account for 2% of the country’s employment in the industrial sector.
Dairy producers were recently given the go-ahead to increase prices by an average of 22% and to a maximum of 28%.