EghtesadOnline: A total of 810,000 tons of vegetable oil were produced in Iran during the first half of the current Iranian year (March 20-Sept. 21), showing a 15% decline compared with the similar period of last year, according to the secretary of Iran’s Vegetable Oil Industries Guild Union.
“Over the same period and due to the economic sanctions imposed against the country, which has caused complications in the way of money transfer as well as forex allocation problems, oilseed imports saw a 51% fall year-on-year,” Amir Houshang Birashk was also quoted as saying by IRIB News.
The official noted that, at present, 85% of the raw material for vegetable oil production are imported.
"The bulk of imports are palm oil from Malaysia and Indonesia, soybean oil from Argentina and sunflower oil from Ukraine and Russia,” he was quoted as saying last year.
Most of the domestic demand for vegetable oils derived from colza, olives and corn are supplied locally.
The ministry plans to achieve 70% self-sufficiency in the production of oilseeds in a 10-year program to curb the import of oilseeds and vegetable oil.
Alireza Mohajer, director of Agriculture Ministry’s “National Oilseed Project”, told Mehr News Agency that the plan kicked off in late 2015.
Domestic oilseed production stood at 46,000 tons in the fiscal 2014-15.
Per capita vegetable oil consumption in Iran is about 18-19 kilograms a year while the global average is 12 kilograms.
Iran’s demand for unrefined vegetable oils stands at around 1.6 million tons per year.