0258 GMT August 04, 2021
IRICA Deputy Chief Mehrdad Arvanaqi said in a letter addressed to Iran’s market regulator authorities that rice imports into Iran had declined by nearly 70 percent year on year in three months and a half passed since the start of the current Iranian year (March 21), according to Press TV.
The letter said that total rice imports into Iran over the period had reached 86,367 tons worth $78.1 million, down from 277,691 tons worth 249.7 million imported between late March and early July 2020.
Arvanaqi said Iranian government authorities will need to reconsider a four-month ban on imports of rice that started June 22, warning that the domestic harvest this summer would suffer as a result of the current drought. The official said that existing rice supplies in IRICA storage houses were only around 52,000 tons.
Iran’s rice imports have declined significantly over the past year as the government no longer considers the staple in its list of state-subsidized food and medicine.
Iran imported more than 850,000 tons of rice, mostly from India, in the Iranian year to late March 2020, according to Masih Keshavarz, who chairs the Iranian Rice Importers Association.
Keshavarz told iribnews.ir that Iran’s Ministry of Agriculture should move to dismantle the seasonal ban to prevent a sharp rise in rice prices over the summer.
He said Iranian rice importers had made prepayments to rice suppliers in countries in India in recent weeks only to cancel them later because they could have failed to make the deadline.