Iran agriculture minister urges removal of tariffs on chicken export

Press TV – Iran’s minister of agriculture says a 40-percent tariff on export of chicken should be removed as farmers face an oversupply that has depressed the prices in the local market.  

Mahmoud Hojjati wrote a letter to Iran’s minister of commerce on Sunday, urging him to lift a tariff on chicken exports that he said had been imposed in late August without coordination with related authorities.

Hojjati said the tariff should have obtained the approval of a working group regulating the exports of agri-food from Iran.

He insisted that the agriculture ministry had been ignored in the process of levying the duty.

The letter comes as Iran scrambles to resume exports of poultry products to countries like Iraq amid an oversupply that has outstripped the domestic demand.

Reports earlier this week suggested that exports of table eggs had reached 100 tons a day after the government decided to lift an eight-month ban on such exports.

The 40-percent tariff on exports of chicken was enacted in mid-summer after authorities expressed concerns about the surging prices of white meat and its impact on food security in the country.

The ministry of commerce ordered Iran’s customs office at the time to charge 50,000 rials ($0.4) for each kilogram of exported chicken.

It was not clear whether authorities would accept a rollback on chicken export tariff as demanded by the farming sector and the ministry of agriculture.

Chicken production in Iran, one of the biggest in the world, heavily relies on government support and regulations as most hatcheries across the country still run on subsidized gasoline to produce various poultry items.