EghtesadOnline: Atotal of 115,557 tons worth $696.04 million of pistachio were exported from Iran to 75 countries in the fiscal 2021-22 (ended March 20), registering a 33% decline in both weight and value compared to the year before, according to the spokesman of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration.
Top five export destinations for in-shell pistachio were China with $199 million, India with $85 million, Russia with $53 million, Iraq with $50 million and Kyrgyzstan with $45 million.
Exports of shelled pistachios stood at 19,336 tons worth $215.88, with Germany topping the importers with $50 million, followed by India $44 million, the UAE $29 million, Iraq $25 million and Turkey $13 million, IRNA reported.
A total of 429 tons of other types of pistachio (slivered) worth $2.51 million were also exported during the period, he added.
Kerman Province is a major pistachio production hub in Iran.
Cold weather in spring has caused 130 trillion rials ($460 million) in damage to pistachio orchards in Kerman Province, says the chairman of Kerman Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture.
“This is only our preliminary estimate on direct damage to orchards. If we take the entire pistachio production chain into account, the losses will have to be multiplied,” Mehdi Tabibzadeh was also quoted as saying by the news portal of Iran Chamber of Commerce (Otaghiranonline.ir).
Mohammad Reza Mousavi Torabi, the head of the Agriculture Commission of Kerman Chamber of Commerce, says around 180,000 hectares of pistachio orchards were hit by the cold after the start of the current Iranian year (March 21), with three-fifths of them experiencing more than 50% damage.
As such, he added, this year’s production of the nut is expected to decline by 65,000 tons at least and the quality of the remaining yield will certainly drop.
Kerman’s Governor-General Ali Zeynivand said preliminary estimates show that the pistachio industry has suffered 200 trillion rials ($710 million) in losses, adding that the figure equals 8% of the province’s annual GDP.
With around 212,000 hectares of pistachio orchards, Kerman Province in southeast Iran is considered the country’s production hub of the nut.
Extreme cold has inflicted around 400 trillion rials ($1.4 billion) in damage to orchards across the country over the past month, an Agriculture Ministry official said recently.
“Orchards in the provinces of Kerman, Yazd, Fars, Isfahan, Khorasan Razavi, North Khorasan, Khuzestan, Ardabil, Hamedan, Markazi, Qom, Semnan, Kohgilouyeh-Boyerahmad and Golestan were the hardest hit,” Mohammad Mehdi Boroumand was quoted as saying by Fars News Agency.
He noted that a total of 450,000 hectares of orchards were damaged, including 202,000 hectares of pistachio orchards, 66,000 hectares of almond plantations, 47,000 hectares of vineyards and 20,000 hectares of walnut orchards.
The Agriculture Insurance Fund is working to compensate part of the huge losses, he added.
The Agriculture Ministry official earlier referred to the impact of low precipitation levels and water shortage on the decline in pistachio production and said, “In the short run, water scarcity is expected to decrease production in Iran’s central and eastern provinces but since the plant is resistant to soil salinity and needs little irrigation, production is expected to bounce back very soon. What is more, during the past years, new orchards have been planted in western and northwestern provinces, which are now bearing fruit. This means production and exports, in turn, are to see a rise over the course of a few years.”
Iran’s agriculture sector is facing the threat of water shortage.
In a report, Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture has warned agricultural officials of an imminent drought that would cripple the country’s agricultural activities and hamper economic growth in this sector in the current Iranian year (March 2021-22).
The ICCIMA report says precipitation levels have drastically fallen, Mehr News Agency reported.
The Majlis Research Center has released a list of Iranian provinces in critical state of water shortage: Isfahan, Hormozgan, Sistan-Baluchestan, Ardabil, Fars, Markazi and Khorasan Razavi.
“Drought has inflicted 670 trillion rials ($2.4 billion) in losses on Iran’s agriculture sector since the beginning of the last crop year,” Mohammad Mousavi, director general of the Agriculture Ministry’s Crisis Management Department, said in June 2021.