Iran’s annual saffron exports exceed $190m

May 10, 2021 - 15:58

TEHRAN - Iranian saffron farmers exported 324.589 tons of products worth over $190 million to 60 foreign destinations during the previous Iranian calendar year (ended on March 20), the spokesman of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA) announced.

According to Ruhollah Latifi, over 78 percent of the mentioned exports in terms of value were made to five major customers of the Iranian saffron, IRNA reported.

Hong Kong with 74,578 kilograms (kg) worth $46.626 million of imports, the United Arab Emirates with 59,791 kg valued at $33.942 million, Spain with 49,025 kg worth $26.44 million, China with 40,139 kg and a value of $22.504 million, and Afghanistan with 33,781 kg and a value of $19.168 million were Iran’s top saffron buyers in the mentioned period.

According to Latifi, the mentioned five countries accounted for 79 percent of the Islamic republic’s total saffron exports in terms of weight.

Iran is one of the world’s top saffron producers and over 90 percent of its production is exported to foreign destinations.

The country exported 192 tons of saffron worth $117.5 million to foreign destinations during the first eight months of the previous Iranian calendar year (March 20-November 20, 2020).

Hong Kong, Spain, UAE, China, and Afghanistan were also the country’s top saffron importers in the mentioned eight months.

Based on a multilateral memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between Iran’s Planning and Budget Organization (PBO) and three of the country’s banks in early October 2020, 10 trillion rials (about $238.09 million) was allocated for supporting the saffron industry.

The MOU was signed by PBO’s Deputy Head Hamid Pour-Mohammadi and the managing directors of Agriculture Bank, Mellat Bank, and Export Development Bank of Iran.

Speaking in the signing ceremony, Pour-Mohammadi noted that the mentioned funding would be provided to saffron producers and processors in the form of bank facilities to support the production of saffron and the packing and processing of this product which has been impacted by the outbreak of coronavirus.

According to the official, the interest rate of the mentioned facilities would be 18 percent, of which PBO has agreed to pay three percent.