Iran’s 5-month tobacco exports rise 10 folds

October 19, 2019

TEHRAN - Exports of tobacco from Iran have increased by nearly 10 times in the first five months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21- August 22), Press TV reported citing the data released by Iran’s Ministry of Industry, Mining and Trade.

A Thursday report by the IRIB cited recent industry ministry’s statistics showing that tobacco exports had hit a record high of 799 tons until September, an increase of 955.5 percent compared to the same period in 2018 when Iran exported only 75.5 tons of the commodity.

Cigarette exports declined 83.3 percent, however, as sales to other countries stood at 25 million cigarettes, or 1.25 million packs of 20, down from 150 million in the five-month period last year.

The report said exports of traditional and flavored tobacco, used in hookah pipes, were also down 53.2 percent and 78 percent respectively.

Imports for flavored tobacco declined by 65.8 percent with just over a half a ton of shipments arriving in the country, down from more than one and a half tons recorded between March and September 2018.

Like the previous year, the customs offices continued to report zero imports for cigarettes.

The ministry of commerce said a total of 20 factories across Iran were producing cigarettes and 38 others exclusively processed tobacco.

The data comes amid a major shift in the pattern for licensed production and import of foreign brands of cigarettes in Iran, a country of 83 million where 15 to 20 percent of people smoke more than 60 billion cigarettes, or three billion packs of 20, each year.

Declining exports and zero imports for cigarettes reported over the past two years suggest smokers in Iran have lost their old appetite for expensive foreign brands and are instead opting for domestic products that go through stricter health and safety controls.


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