Iran imported nearly $1b worth of rice until August: Customs office

Press TV – Rice, corn and oil-rich seeds top Iran’s list of food imports, shows five-month data by Iran’s customs office, amid measures adopted by the government to minimize the impacts of American sanctions on food security in the country.

The figures released by IRICA on Monday showed that Iran had spent a total of $946,216,210 on rice imports between late March and late August 2019.

The total volume of the rice shipments arriving in Iran in the period stood at 888,491 tons, said the report.

A major producer of good-quality rice, Iran occasionally lifts its seasonal ban on imports both to regulate the domestic market and to help boost trade with countries like India.

The customs office said rice was followed by corn in the list of top import items as deliveries into the country reached over 3.5 million tons worth of more than $880 million.

Oil-rich seeds were third on the list, it said, with over $577 million spent for more than 1.2 million tons of cargo that reached Iranian ports.

Other major food import items included edible oil, soybeans, medicine, meat, sugar, barley, fertilizers and chicken.

The IRICA said more than $4.7 billion had been spent on food and basic goods imports in the initial five months of the Iranian calendar year, adding that sugar imports represented the highest increase, around 640 percent in volume and 891 percent in value, compared to the similar period last year.

Iran has sought to increase imports of basic goods and foodstuff since the United States imposed a series of tough sanctions on the country in November.

Reports last month showed that such imports had increased by nearly 70 percent this year, helping to significantly raise inventories kept by port operation firms south of the country.