MNA – Iran’s saffron exports hit a ten-year record high last year, reaching about 236 tons, said an official at Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (TCCIMA) on Monday.
According to Kaveh Zargaran, the chairman of TCCIMA’s Committee for Agriculture, Water and Food Industries, the volume of saffron exports for 2017 reached about 236 tons, valued at more than $326 million.
Zargaran noted that the hike in saffron exports had been maintained for the second consecutive year, hitting a fresh record high in the last ten years.
He went on to express regret, however, that despite a 55% hike in exports, around 77% of this most expensive spice in the world is only exported to Hong Kong, UAE, and Spain.
“This shows our failure in claiming a bigger share of the market compared to other countries,” he said, adding “countries such as Spain, which are among the biggest importers of our saffron, are at the same time among the biggest exporters of this spice.”
Zargaran further criticized the relevant officials for their neglect in protecting the saffron corms from being smuggled into Afghanistan, which has now become Iran’s rival in producing and exporting this highly expensive spice. According to him, Afghanistan has managed to export over $17 million worth of saffron in 2017, increasing its share in the global market by about 23 percent.