Economy, Domestic Economy

Iran Needs to Import 600KT of Rice

Iran Needs to Import 600KT of RiceIran Needs to Import 600KT of Rice

Iran needs to import 600,000 tons of rice to meet domestic demand in the current Iranian year (to end March 19, 2016), says deputy agriculture minister, Abbas Keshavarz.

Any import will be subject to a 40% tariff and 5,000 rials charged on each kilogram of rice, IRNA quoted the official as saying.

The ministry has recently lifted a ban on rice imports after a year. The ban was imposed to protect domestic rice farmers during the harvest season.

As part of a decree issued by Agriculture Minister Mahmoud Hojjati, Iran’s customs officials will be allowed to register new import orders from December 3, 2015, till June 21, 2016.

The registrations will expire in three months, after which they may be extended by another month, the decree added.

Around 3 million tons of rice are consumed in Iran every year, more than half of which has been supplied by domestic production in the current crop year.

Producing more than 1 million tons of rice from 230,000 hectares of paddy-fields annually, the northern Mazandaran Province alone meets 42% of domestic rice needs.

Some 433,000 tons of rice were imported in the seven-month period from March to October through orders submitted before the ban.

Last week, Thailand’s Commerce Ministry said the country expects to sell 200,000 tons of rice to Iran. Moreover, Indian farmers of basmati rice also intend to resume exporting to Iran after the aforementioned ban sent prices down by as much as 50% in India.