EghtesadOnline: A total of 65,000 tons of eggs were exported from Iran during the nine months to Dec. 20, 2020, says Hedayat Asghari, the head of Iran's Egg Producers Union.
“Over 1 million tons of eggs were exported from Iran in the last [Iranian] year [March 2019-20]. Given the current level of production, exports are expected to reach between 90,000 and 95,000 tons by the end of the [current fiscal] year [March 20],” Asghari was quoted as saying by IRNA.
“Exports need to be managed smartly and at the provincial level rather than the national level; in other words, each province must be allowed to export its excess output. The market needs to be regulated by producers themselves. The ban on exports results in an uncertain future for local producers.”
The Market Regulation Headquarters set the price of each kilogram of eggs at 140,000 rials (54 cents) from 120,000 rials (46 cents) in its latest meeting.
The export of eggs has been banned since Nov. 21, 2020.
High prices of livestock feed, the low ceiling set by the government for egg prices and hefty export duties negatively impact egg production.
Omid Gilanpour, deputy agriculture minister, had earlier said exporters are required to pay 35,000 rials [$0.14] in customs duty per kilogram of egg shipment, "until further notice", Fars News Agency reported.
The ministry is expected to update export duties in late October, he added.
Nasser Nabipour, the spokesman of Iran's Egg-Laying Hen Producers Union, told IRIB that the price of livestock feed has increased by 35% in recent days.
Besides, "the government delivers only half of the expected volume of livestock feed to egg production units, which has resulted in a drop in output", he added.
Nabipour said the market is experiencing a shortage of livestock feed and producers cannot afford the hefty free market rate.
Iran produces 90,000 tons of eggs per month and produced 1.1 million tons of eggs in the last fiscal year (ended March 19, 2020), of which 41,000 tons were exported.
The country exported 34,000 tons of egg during the first three months of the current year (March 20-June 20), which emptied the market shelves and led to a price hike.
Consequently, the export of the product was banned on July 4 temporarily, as per the Industries Ministry’s move to curb the domestic price hike.
The ban was removed on July 21, but exporters were required to pay 40,000 rials ($0.16) in customs duty per kilogram of shipment.
Farzad Talakesh, secretary-general of Iran's Egg-Laying Hen Producers Union, believes that the business of egg production units is getting more infeasible day-by-day.
"Investors are optimistic about possible modifications in the government's pricing policies and that’s why they have coped with the losses incurred in recent months," he said, noting that the market would experience a shortage if producers see no improvement in their business,” he added.
There are 1,632 egg-laying hen production units and 140 egg packaging units in the country.
Per capita egg consumption in the country prior to the coronavirus stood at 12 kilograms per year.