Iran to export 1 million tonnes of wheat: Official

Wheat harvest at a farm in Khorsh-Rostam in Iran's northwestern Ardabil province. (Photo by Mizan)
Wheat harvest at a farm in Khorsh-Rostam in Iran’s northwestern Ardabil province. (Photo by Mizan)

Iran expects to export 1 million tonnes of surplus wheat and its products this year, up 60 percent from the year ago, the country’s trade regulator the Government Trading Company (GTC) says.

GTC Managing Director Yazdan Seif on Tuesday said the rise was “the result of the creation of necessary mechanisms and the increase in wheat production as well as guaranteed purchases of wheat, especially durum.”

“Our exports will not exceed 1 million tonnes, and we will sell only the surplus wheat” purchased from Iranian farmers, the Tasnim news agency quoted him as saying.

The official said given a 4 percent rise in global prices of wheat, exports were set to help with job creation and economic boom in the sector.

“Our goal is to export durum wheat, flour and flour products, and avoid exporting unprocessed and raw materials as much as possible,” Seif said.

Iran always holds a carryover from the previous wheat crop as well as past stocks.

Last year, officials said state-sponsored purchases of wheat from domestic farmers reached 11 million tonnes, a rise of 30% on the year before. Former GTC head Ali Qanbari said then the country planned to export 300,000 tonnes of durum wheat.

Farmers collect their wheat crop in Khorsh-Rostam in Iran’s northwestern Ardabil province, July 14, 2017. (Photo by Mizan)

Iran’s wheat production has experienced a cycle of boom and bust. Largely self-sufficient in wheat a decade ago, the country has turned to one of the world’s biggest importers. However, it bucked the trend last year, with officials saying it had produced enough wheat to make the country self-sufficient amid a better harvest.

The Ministry of Agriculture, meanwhile, banned state imports of wheat for the current Persian year which began on March 20, ordering officials to stop registering new purchase orders.

Wheat is part of the itinerary for production of basic and strategic commodities under Iran’s “economy of resistance” blueprint which Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has proposed.

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