Economy, Business And Markets

Dates Down But Not Dumped

Dates Down But Not DumpedDates Down But Not Dumped

The Organization of Rural Cooperatives of Iran has rejected claims that it buried dates in excess of market demand.

Hossein Safaie, the organization’s managing director, declared that “not a single date has been dumped in the past three years”.

Safaie added that thanks to the good condition of the date market, there was no need to purchase dates from farmers at guaranteed prices, Fars News Agency reported.

In the eight-month period ending November 21, exports of 109,000 tons of dates registered an 18.5% and 20.5% rise in terms of weight and value respectively compared with the same period of last year,” he said.

His comments come after the head of Date Association, Ali Asghar Mousavi, earlier this week claimed that the current year’s production of 1 million tons of dates in excess of market demand left no option for the Organization of Rural Cooperatives of Iran but to bury them.

“Many date producers have abandoned their palm orchards and even middlemen don’t know what to do with the dates they have purchased,” he said.    

“The export prices of Iranian dates are not economically viable; the end price of date production in Iran is 10 times more than their export price, which has practically spelt an end to its export.”

Average per capita consumption of dates is one kilogram, around 500,000 tons of the fruit are consumed annually and the rest is wasted, ISNA quoted him as saying.

Halim Kouti, an official with Khuzestan Agricultural Jihad Organization, said around 69,000 tons of dates have been purchased from farmers of the province and will be exported.

“The figure shows an increase of 3 to 4 tons compared to that of last year,” he said.