American Pistachios Labeled as Iranian: Challenges Faced by Iranian Traders in International Markets

American Pistachios Labeled as Iranian: Challenges Faced by Iranian Traders in International Markets

American Pistachios with Iranian Labels

Report by Keinia Citing Ilna, the chairman of the Pistachio Association, due to government policies on foreign exchange return, Iranian traders are unable to export pistachios and compete in international markets. Mohammad Salehi, in an interview with Ilna, stated that a significant portion of last year’s pistachio crop remains unsold. He explained, “Since we purchase pistachios using free market currency rates but are required to sell the foreign currency earned from exports at a lower, government-mandated rate, pistachio traders incur substantial losses, making it practically impossible to export and compete internationally.”

He added, “This issue affects all exporters, but for some pistachio traders, profit margins have shrunk so much that they can no longer export. If pistachio exports are to continue, this issue needs to be addressed.”

Salehi emphasized that pistachio traders are committed to repatriating export revenues, but the problem lies in the mandated exchange rate. The government should not seek to purchase repatriated currency at lower prices. He added that government-mandated pricing has consistently caused problems.

Read More: Foreign Exchange Commitment Strains Pistachio Exporters in Iran

Regarding pistachio production in Iran, Salehi stated, “Due to water shortages, we’ve encountered production challenges, allowing the U.S. to surpass us in pistachio production.” He mentioned ongoing efforts to increase production per unit area through better orchard management and irrigation methods without expanding cultivation areas.

He noted, “Last year, pistachio production reached 180,000 tons, and this year it is expected to reach 200,000 tons, about a 10% increase over the previous year.” Salehi pointed out that the U.S. leads global production with approximately 500,000 tons.

World’s Top Pistachio Producers: Where Does Iran Stand?

The chairman of the Pistachio Association mentioned that around 80% of Iran’s pistachio production is exported. He also explained that American pistachios are being exported to China and Russia labeled as Iranian pistachios with lower customs tariffs, making competition for Iranian pistachios even tougher.

Salehi stressed that government policies on foreign exchange return and low export profit margins have reduced the competitiveness of Iranian traders. He added that the provinces of Kerman, Khorasan, Yazd, Fars, Semnan, and several others are the main pistachio-producing regions.

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