Iranian Pistachio Market: Production of 240,000 Tons of Pistachio

Iranian Pistachio Market: Production of 240,000 Tons of Pistachio and Decline in Exports

According to a report by Keinia citing YJC, the director of the Cold Climate Fruit Bureau, Dariush Salempour, spoke about the production status of cold climate and dry fruits in the country, saying: Statistics show that 25 million tons of orchard products are produced annually across 3 million hectares of orchards including tropical, subtropical, cold climate, and dry fruits which, in addition to meeting domestic needs, the surplus is exported to target countries, which brings in foreign currency.

He added: The total foreign currency earned by the orchard industry annually is close to 3 billion dollars, of which 1 billion and 700 million dollars, equivalent to over 60 percent of foreign currency income in the orchard industry, belongs to cold climate and dry fruits.

Pistachio Production in the Country Reaches 240,000 Tons

The director of the Cold Climate and Dry Fruit Bureau, stating that Iranian pistachio is known all over the world, said: Out of more than 500,000 hectares of orchards, 240,000 tons of pistachio has been produced. Pistachio orchards in Kerman province have had a good ranking in terms of cultivation area, production and exports in recent years, but in recent years, climate change and water resource constraints that have occurred in those regions have led to water salinity in terms of quantity and quality; therefore, some orcharders have been forced to use resistant varieties or orchard management practices in order to sustain production.

He added: Climate change, early spring frost, untimely heat have gradually and in turn caused problems with pistachio production in Kerman province, therefore our investors, orcharders and operators thought that many of these areas no longer need corrective and production sustainability work and it is better to cultivate this product in other provinces and pursue development plans.

Salempour said: Currently, pistachio cultivation in Khorasan Razavi, South Khorasan, Sistan and Baluchestan, Semnan, Qazvin, Markazi and Fars provinces has received attention in recent years and even now pistachio cultivation in suitable areas of western and northwestern provinces such as East Azerbaijan and West Azerbaijan is under development.

He said: Recently, Iran and FAO signed a joint cooperation agreement for the complete production chain to the supply of pistachio product and its management so that the FAO’s global experts’ experiences are used to optimize orchards, and we hope that with the implementation of this plan, especially in Kerman province as one of the important pilot locations, the process of pistachio production and exports to global markets, especially the European Union, continues as in the past.

40,000 Tons of Pistachios Remained Unsold Last Year

According to a report by Kianews citing Kermannew, global pistachio production has broken a record. It is predicted that the volume of pistachio production will reach 1 million and 200 thousand tons. The volume of pistachio production has increased while Iran itself has remained in last year’s pistachio exports. According to a report by the Orchard Committee of the Iranian Pistachio Association, 106,000 tons of dried pistachio was produced in the country in the year 1401, which shows a 30% decrease in product compared to last year. However, even this 106,000 tons has not been exported.

According to customs statistics, in the 12 months of last year, only 56,298 tons of pistachio and pistachio kernels were exported to 57 different countries. Salahi, a member of the board of the Iranian Pistachio Association, told Kermannew that about 40,000 tons of pistachio remained in warehouses. While Iran has failed to export last year’s product, according to forecasts, pistachio production this year will be about 2 times last year.

Warning About Increase in Pistachio Smuggling

Salahi, stating that this year with this high volume of pistachio we cannot carry out exports, said: This year we have 1 million and 200 thousand tons of pistachio production which is apparently unprecedented, with this volume of pistachio available, our own pistachio is also abundant and we must be able to compete with these countries, countries whose merchants trade at the real exchange rate and for example in the case of Turkey, merchants get the daily lira rate, not like our merchants who have to submit their dollars at the NIMA rate. The board member of the Pistachio Association, referring to the problems of fulfilling foreign currency commitments and the increase in global pistachio production, warned about the increase in smuggling in the country. In this regard, he said: I think the amount of pistachio smuggling this year will increase because perhaps in the past two years due to lower pistachio production, less pistachio was smuggled but this year given the high volume and the NIMA rate of return, the statistics of smuggling will probably be higher.

Previously, Zabihollah Azami, the spokesperson for the Parliament’s Agricultural Commission, had also criticized customs tariffs and barriers, saying that these obstacles had pushed pistachio merchants toward smuggling. On May 7, Azami said in a meeting of the Government-Private Sector Dialogue Council at the Kerman Chamber of Commerce: Pistachio and Jalyzaji products of Kerman are exported under the name of other countries. Azami stated the reason for exporting Iranian pistachio product smuggled through Turkey as the high customs tariffs and barriers in the country. Regarding the Pistachio Association’s plan to organize the pistachio export situation, Salahi says: We can only negotiate. The Supreme Pistachio Headquarters will be held soon in Kerman with the follow up of the governor and we will try to resolve these obstacles and problems through negotiation.

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