EghtesadOnline: Atotal of 15.5 million tons worth $6.47 billion of raw materials for production of animal feed were imported to Iran during the first 11 months of the current Iranian year (March 21, 2021-Feb. 19), registering an 11% and 51% rise in weight and value respectively compared with the corresponding period of the preceding year, data released by the Livestock and Poultry Feed Importers Union show.
Over 856 million tons of field corn worth $2.95 billion were imported during the period, registering a 7% decline in volume and a 28% increase in value year-on-year.
Moreover, 2.11 million tons of soybeans worth $1.38 billion and 2.27 million tons of soybean meal worth $1.24 billion were imported, indicating a 59% and 17% growth in value and weight respectively compared with the corresponding period of last year.
Barley imports stood at 3 million tons worth $895.96 million, registering a 76% and 112% rise in weight and value respectively YOY.
According to CEO of Livestock, Poultry and Fish Feed Factories Association, Majid Jafari, Iranian producers of animal feed have the capacity to produce between 22 million tons and 25 million tons per year, yet they are working at around 30% of their full capacity.
Domestic annual demand stands at 12 million tons to 15 million tons, he added.
“Imports of animal feed raw material has so far been carried out using subsidized foreign currency [at the rate of 42,000 rials per dollar], but due to limited foreign currency reserves, we are not sure whether the flow of subsidized foreign currency will still be available for imports,” Hassan Abbasi Maroufan, former caretaker of Government Trading Corporation’s Commercial Services Department, has been quoted as saying.
In fact, the government is looking to abolish the cheap import regime at the rate of 42,000 rials per dollar for all entitled goods, except for wheat and medicine. The move is expected to further pressurize the livestock industry.