EghtesadOnline: A total of 1.37 million tons of fruit and vegetable worth $425 million were exported from Iran during the first five months of the current Iranian year (March 20-Aug. 21).
According to the spokesperson of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration, a total of 289,135 tons of different kinds of fresh and dried fruit worth more than $183.75 million were exported to 43 countries during the period.
“Our main exported fruits were peach, apple, apricot, pear, cherry and sour cherry, nectarine, greengage, strawberry, mulberry, grape, kiwi, raspberry, pomegranate, barberry and jujube,” Rouhollah Latifi was also quoted as saying by Fars News Agency.
The spokesman noted that Iraq with $73.59 million, Russia with $70.03 million and the UAE with $6.62 million were the top three export destinations.
“Other main customers of Iranian fruit over the five-month period were Japan, Australia, the UK, India, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Oman, Qatar, Ukraine, Poland, Lebanon, Estonia and Canada,” he added.
Reza Nourani, the head of the National Union of Exporters of Agricultural Products, told IRNA in May that during the last Iranian year (ended March 19, 2020), 1.8 million tons of fruit worth $1.43 billion were exported from Iran to register a 30% decline compared with the previous year.
A total of 1.09 million tons of vegetable worth $241.17 million were exported to 37 countries during the same period.
“Our main exported products were watermelons, Persian melons, cantaloupes, honeydews, zucchini, eggplants, chilies, cabbages, corn, celery, broad beans, green beans, tomatoes and different types of mushrooms, which headed to Iraq, Canada, the UAE, Australia, Bahrain, Azerbaijan, the UK, Germany, Russia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Poland, Kuwait, Qatar, Turkey, Norway and Oman,” Latifi was quoted as saying by ILNA.`
The official noted that the top three export destinations for Iranian vegetable were Iraq with $109.51 million, the UAE with $53.92 million and Oman with $12.86 million.
According to Latifi, Iran is the first and fifth biggest exporter of vegetables in the Middle East and the world respectively.
Iran’s total vegetable exports stood at $1.4 billion during the last fiscal year, says the director general of Agriculture Ministry’s Fodder and Vegetable Production Bureau.
“A total of 30 million tons of different kinds of vegetables were produced across the country during the period. Some 25 million tons of the total amount were produced in farms and orchards, and the remaining 5 million tons were cultivated in greenhouses,” Hossein Asghari was also quoted as saying by IRNA.
Asghari noted that the ministry has a three-year plan to increase vegetable production by 10 million tons per year.
A major problem on the way of exporting agricultural products is the presence of sanctions, which prevent Iranian goods from being directly exported to target countries, obliging traders to resort to reexporting via a third country.
What's more, the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran has, on its website, predicted that the country’s vegetable and fruit exports will experience a considerable decline this year due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.