EghtesadOnline: Problems related to the supply of livestock and poultry feed have not yet been solved, Majid Movafeq Qadirli, the head of Iran Feed Industry Association said.
“If the government keeps pushing the current policy through, Iran will turn from the seventh largest producer of chicken to an importer in spring [starting March 21],” the official was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.
“About $4.9 billion worth of livestock and poultry feed should have been imported into the country since the beginning of the current Iranian year until now, whereas only $3.5 billion worth of animal feed have been imported so far,” he added.
Qadirli noted that the Central Bank of Iran has failed to either allocate or supply $1.65 billion for the import of such essential goods.
“A total of 2.4 million tons of corn have yet to be cleared from customs due to complications associated with the supply and transfer of foreign currency. Apart from chicken, we are also struggling with the supply of other meat products due to the trickling distribution system of livestock feed adopted by the Agriculture Ministry,” he added.
Over 8.59 million tons of animal feed were discharged from customs terminals in the eight months to Nov. 20, according to Rouhollah Latifi, the spokesman of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration.
“A total of 6.4 million tons of corn, 1.24 tons of barley and 945,915 tons of soybean meal were released from customs over the eight-month period, indicating a 2.7% decline year-on-year,” he said.
Compared with last year’s same period, 886,766 tons or 16% more of corn have been cleared from customs across the country whereas 908,000 tons or 34% less barley have been discharged. A total of 2.15 million tons of barley were discharged last year compared with 1.24 million this year.
Noting that eight-month custom clearance of soybean meal stood at 1.16 million tons last year, the official said, “Close to 946,000 tons of soybean meal have been discharged over the period, indicating a 19% decline year-on-year.”
“Unlike what most officials assume, money transfer is a much bigger problem than the amount of foreign currency allocated by the government. Transfer of foreign currencies other than the South Korean won, the Omani rial, the Iraqi dinar and the Pakistani rupee creates multiple challenges for importers,” Abolhassan Khalili, the head of Livestock and Poultry Feed Importers’ Union, was quoted as saying by IRIB News recently.
“The decline in imports of animal feed products is indicative of the problems in the way of imports.”
The number of importers of livestock and poultry feed raw materials declined by 70% in the first half of the current fiscal year (March 20-Sept. 21).
According to Khalili, 403 companies were engaged in the import of livestock and poultry feed during the first half of last Iranian year, which figure has now fallen to 111 and counting.