Iran’s dates exported to 85 countries

Iran exported $211.64 million worth of dates to 85 countries in the last Iranian year (March 2019-20), according to the spokesman of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration.

28 June 2020
ID : 22451
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Iran exported $211.64 million worth of dates to 85 countries in the last Iranian year (March 2019-20), according to the spokesman of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration.

A village boy shows dates harvested from palm tree farms in in southern province of Bushehr. Photo: Tasnim

Iran exported $211.64 million worth of dates to 85 countries in the last Iranian year (March 2019-20), according to the spokesman of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration.

Iran exported a total of 238,152 tons of dates. Pakistan, Kazakhstan, the UAE, Turkey, Afghanistan, Malaysia, Bangladesh, India, Denmark, Ukraine and Iraq were the main destinations,” Rouhollah Latifi was quoted as saying by ILNA.

According to Zahra Jalili-Moqaddam, an Agriculture Ministry official, Iran is the world’s second biggest producer of dates with an annual production of around 1.2 million tons that accounts for 10% of the global output.

Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Pakistan, Algeria, Iraq, Sudan, Oman and Libya are the top 10 producers of dates in the world. 

Egypt has the biggest production and Algeria has the biggest area of land under date cultivation.

There are a dozen types of dates produced in Iran.

A farmer in southern province of Bushehr is harvesting dates from palm tree farms.

Chairman of the National Association of Iranian Dates Mohsen Rashid Farrokhi said Iran exports 20% of its overall production.

Farrokhi had earlier told Financial Tribune in an interview that Egypt, Iran and Saudi Arabia are the world's biggest producers of dates with an average annual production of 1.4 million tons, 1.2 million tons and 1.1 million tons respectively.

"Yet, Iran is the biggest exporter of the crop in the world," Farrokhi added, noting that Egypt ranks second with Saudi Arabia and Tunisia sharing the third spot in the export front.

Per capita date consumption in Iran is 3 kilograms per year.

Date is mainly produced in six Iranian provinces, namely Kerman, Sistan-Baluchestan, Khuzestan, Hormozgan, Bushehr and Fars. This year, production from Kerman, Sistan-Baluchestan and Khuzestan accounted for 800,000 tons of the total output (70%).

“Two of Iran’s southern neighbors, namely Saudi Arabia and the UAE, are expanding their palm groves. This can turn them into serious rivals to Iran’s international date market,” Farrokhi was quoted as saying by ILNA recently.

“At present, our production surpasses theirs by only 50,000 tons to 100,000 tons per year. This calls for prompt action on the part of Iranian producers and traders active in the field to elevate our marketing methods and promote the delectable Iranian dates.”

The official said Afghanistan is also planning to replace part of its opium poppy cultivation with date palms.

Farrokhi noted that due to that country’s geographical location there is only little land where palm groves could be grown and therefore the harvest will also be relatively meager, which cannot compete with Iranian dates in foreign markets.

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