Economy, Business And Markets

Iranian Gov’t Conditions Cheaper Fruit Import on Export

Iranian Gov’t Conditions Cheaper Fruit Import on ExportIranian Gov’t Conditions Cheaper Fruit Import on Export

Bananas could be imported at a low tariff rate of 5%, provided raisins are exported in return, based on a regulation ratified by the Cabinet’s Wednesday meeting.

Export subsidy was allocated to raisins during the meeting to boost exports.

More than 40,000 tons of raisins were produced during the seven months of the current Iranian year (started March 20) and production is estimated to reach 230,000 tons by the yearend, Mehr News Agency reported.

“Domestic raisin consumption amounts to about 40,000 tons. This year, we have a surplus production of between 180,000 and 190,000 tons, which must be exported or else local farmers would incur losses,” said Ramezan Rouyintan with the Ministry of Agriculture.

Last year (March 2015-16), he added, close to 170,000 tons of raisins were produced, 113,000 tons of which were exported.

Rouyintan noted that given the bumper production this year, the government is taking measures to increase exports and support local farmers.

Similar regulations were ratified earlier by the government for other agricultural products. For example, for the exports of every three kilograms of oranges or tangerines, one kilogram of such citrus fruit is allowed to be imported, and also bananas can be imported at a low tariff rate of 5% if apples are exported in return.

The latter policy resulted in the exports of 170,000 tons of apples worth $57.5 million during the first half of this fiscal year, registering a 300% and 220% rise in weight and value respectively compared with the corresponding period of last year.

“Iran is the world’s third biggest producer of raisin after the US and Turkey and the eighth biggest producer of grapes,” Securities and Exchange News Agency quoted Abbas Banazadeh, an agriculture expert, as saying.

Banazadeh said Iran needd to meet global standards in terms of grape harvest and the washing, sorting and packaging of raisins to secure a foothold in the international market.

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