EghtesadOnline: The director general of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration’s Exports Department has communicated a ban on chicken exports to customs offices throughout the country.
As per Ali Akbar Shademani’s directive, chicken exports have been banned starting March 10 and will continue until further notice.
The measure has been taken following the shortage of chicken meat in the country, IRNA reported.
Habib Asadollahnejad, the deputy head of Iran Chicken Farmers Union, said, “To our knowledge, the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade had ratified the ban on chicken exports nearly five months ago in October, yet officials from the body concerned have only communicated the directive to IRICA a few days ago.”
This means, the official told ILNA, that the product’s exports have continued all the while, despite turmoil and soaring prices in the domestic market.
“One reason may be that the price of each kilogram of chicken in the neighboring markets is at $1.5, which is a lot more than prices in the local market. This has tempted brokers and smugglers to buy chicken produced with subsidized poultry feed and sell them illegally to regional and neighboring countries.”
Abbas Tabesh, the head of Iran Consumer and Producer Protection Organization, said there is surplus chicken meat production in all Iranian provinces, which means the government has to take extreme measures against middlemen and smugglers who cause disruptions in the domestic market.
Official statistics show Iran exported more than 7,000 tons of chicken worth $13.28 million during the first quarter of the current fiscal year (March 20-June 20).
The three top destinations of Iran’s chicken meat during the three-month period were Afghanistan with 4,116 tons worth $8.19 million, Iraq with 2,523 tons worth $3.6 million and Venezuela with 264 tons worth $585,205, Rouhollah Latifi, spokesman of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration, was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.
According to Gholamreza Maleknia, an Agriculture Ministry official, Iran produces 2.5 million tons of chicken annually and between 120 million and 130 million chicken are produced on a monthly basis.
Iran’s per capita consumption of chicken meat hovers around 32 kilograms.