EghtesadOnline: Sweets and chocolates exported in the fiscal 2020-21 reached $475 million, registering an 18% decline compared to $580 million in the previous year, according to the Association of Iranian Confectionery Manufacturing Companies.
Iraq, Afghanistan and Persian Gulf countries were Iran's main export destination.
East European countries, Russia, China and the US were other export destinations, ISNA reported.
According to Secretary of Associations of Iranian Confectionery Manufacturing Companies Jamshid Maghazei, the exports come as production units are working at the least capacity and it is estimated that by resolving the problems linked to sanctions, money transfer and supply of raw materials, Iran's sweets and chocolate exports can reach $1.5 billion per year.
Iran's export of chocolate and pastry in the fiscal 2018-19 stood at $800 million, according to Kaveh Zargaran, Iran Chamber of Commerce official.
Iran produced 1.7 million tons of pastry and chocolates that year.
According to the official, Iran produces 1.7 million tons of pastry and chocolate every year, while the nameplate capacity stands at 2.4 million tons per year.
There are 350 chocolate and pastry production units in Iran.
The city of Tabriz in West Azarbaijan Province is Iran’s chocolate and biscuit production hub and arguably that of the entire Middle East. About half of Iran’s biscuits and chocolates are produced in this northeastern city.
According to a board member of Iranian Confectionery Industries Union, Fereydoun Doroudi, all the investments in this industry have been made by the private sector.
Pastry and chocolate account for 30-40% of Iran’s total food exports, according to Secretary of Trade Promotion Organization of Iran's Pastry, Chocolate and Cereal Products Desk Gholamreza Sabz-Ali.
About 70% of the machinery used in Iran's chocolate and pastry industry are supplied domestically.
Some 50% of Iran’s biscuits and chocolates are produced in the city of Tabriz.