Iran’s cigarette exports nearly double in 6 months

October 30, 2020 - 14:12

TEHRAN – Iranian Industry, Mining, and Trade Ministry’s data indicates that despite a five percent fall in the production of cigarettes in the first six months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20-September 21), the exports of the commodity increased by 97.2 percent.

Iran exported 71 million cigarettes in the first six months of this year compared to the 36 million in the same period last year, ISNA reported.

As reported, some 25.1 billion cigarettes were produced in the mentioned six months, which is a five percent decrease compared to the 26.4 billion cigarettes produced in the first six months of the previous year.

The decrease in production and the amount of consumption in the mentioned period which is estimated at 32.5 billion cigarettes indicate that smuggling also increased by 22.3 percent in the H1.

Smuggling of cigarettes is estimated to have increased from 6.9 billion cigarettes in the first six months of the previous year to 7.45 billion in the same period this year.

According to the Association of Manufacturers, Importers, and Exporters of Tobacco Products, 70 percent of tobacco products are supplied through imports.

According to the mentioned association, 50,000 people are directly employed in this industry, while 100,000 to 150,000 are engaged indirectly in distribution, agriculture, and transportation.

Iran has an annual import demand of €300 million for tobacco products. On the other hand, this industry has an annual tax revenue of 40 trillion rials (about $952 million).

Based on the Industry Ministry data, a total of 54.8 billion cigarettes were produced in the last fiscal year (ended on March 19), indicating a 13.7 percent growth compared with the year before.

Some 154 million cigarettes were exported in the mentioned year, registering a 2.7 percent increase compared to the preceding year.

Notably, Jordan and Austria were added to the list of Iran’s cigarette export destinations for the first time in the year ending March 2020, according to Ataollah Maroufkhani, the head of Industries, Mining, and Trade Ministry’s affiliate, the Iranian Tobacco Planning, and Supervision Center.

Iran has currently banned the imports of cigarettes into the country.

The decision to halt imports doesn't mean that no foreign cigarettes entered Iran; the Industries Ministry estimates that 10.03 billion cigarettes were smuggled into the country in the last fiscal year, as 65 billion cigarettes were smoked in the country during the period, which registered a year-on-year decline of 39.2 percent.

EF/MA

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