EghtesadOnline: Over 8.7 million tons of essential goods have been offloaded at Imam Khomeini Port in the southern Khuzestan Province since the beginning of the current Iranian year (March 20).
According to Director General of Khuzestan Ports and Maritime Organization Adel Deris, a total of 157 vessels docked at the port for unloading the essential goods, including wheat, corn, oilseeds, soybean meal, edible oil, rice and sugar.
“Thus far, 8.54 million tons of essential goods have been transported to different parts of the country. There are also 2.89 million tons of essential goods at the port’s warehouses, which will be discharged gradually after going through the formalities,” he was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.
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 is the main hub for the import of essential goods in Iran. Close to 90% of Iran's demand for livestock feed raw materials as well as 79% of grains are imported through this southern port.
A total of 25.09 million tons of essential goods worth $15.5 billion were imported 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 essential goods’ imports accounted for close to 71% and 35% of the volume and value of last year’s total imports respectively, according to IRICA Spokesman Rouhollah Latifi.
“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,” he was quoted as saying by ISNA.
The government plans to continue subsidizing essential goods in the next fiscal year (March 2021-21).
According to Vice President Mohammad Baqer Nobakht, who doubles as the chairman of Iran’s Plan and Budget Organization, the government will channel earnings from oil exports to import essential goods at the subsidized rate of 42,000 rials per US dollar.