Iran’s annual rice imports at record high

A total of 1.75 million tons of rice were imported into Iran during the last fiscal year (March 2021-22), which is a 10-year record high, according to the secretary of Iran Rice Association.

17 May 2022
ID : 33720
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A total of 1.75 million tons of rice were imported into Iran during the last fiscal year (March 2021-22), which is a 10-year record high, according to the secretary of Iran Rice Association.

“Last year’s imports were more than twice the volume needed to fill in the domestic production deficiency,” Jamil Alizadeh Shayeq was also quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.

Iran’s annual rice production currently stands close to 2.3 million tons, while domestic demand is around 3 million tons per year.

“Misleading information coming from officials about last year’s local production has led to this excessive volume of imports. Last year, production amounted to 2.25 million tons, which was 200,000 tons less than the year before but not much different from our normal annual output. In the fiscal 2020-21, high precipitation levels and favorable weather made production see an unexpected rise,” he said.

“Yet, officials kept saying that domestic production had fallen and the deficit [between supply and demand] has widened. This made it easier for those who benefit from imports to convince authorities and the customs administration to increase import levels to unprecedented and unnecessary levels.”  

The official noted that in view of domestic consumption and production figures, rice import demand amounts to 750,000 tons, adding that usually rice consignments stored in warehouses from previous years also enter the market gradually. 

“Since rice prices in the local market skyrocketed last year, intermediaries spread misinformation that this was because of a decline in imports. This, unfortunately, is where officials got the idea to allow more imports,” he added.

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