News ID: 278184
Published: 0332 GMT December 15, 2020

Iran’s eight-month saffron exports top $117m: IRICA

Iran’s eight-month saffron exports top $117m: IRICA
IRNA

Iran exported over 192 tons of saffron worth $117.5 million during the first eight months of the current Iranian year (Mar. 20-Nov. 20), announced the spokesman of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA) on Tuesday.

Rouhollah Latifi said that Iran’s high-quality saffron was exported to 53 countries, mainly to Hong Kong, Vietnam, Qatar, Afghanistan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), IRNA reported.

The official added that France, Italy, Australia, Canada, Germany, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Japan and Britain were also among the main destinations for Iranian saffron.

A member of Iran’s Saffron Council said in August that exports of saffron declined to just over 40 tons between April and June this year, down 15 percent compared to the similar period in 2018, when over 50 tons of Iranian saffron was sold in markets across Europe and Asia.

Ali Hosseini said that each kilogram of Iranian saffron is priced between €700 and €1,000 in the European market, but the price prescribed by the Iranian government is well below – between €450 and €600.

Exporters and farmers have been lamenting that underpricing has caused a surge in the smuggling of saffron to neighboring Afghanistan, where the Iranian product is repackaged and exported to countries like India.

Hosseini said that India’s low tariffs on saffron imported from Afghanistan, compared to higher duties levied on Iran’s saffron, were encouraging more and more people to transfer the spice in large quantities from Mashhad to Afghanistan.

Authorities believe the illegal businesses have cost Iran saffron exports dearly as exporters have decreased their shipments to the UAE, a top buyer of Iranian saffron, because of declining inventories.

   
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