Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 15 / Trend S. Isayev, T. Jafarov/
Chairman of Iran's chamber of exports Asadullah Asgarovladi said that banning country's exports of pistachios was a big mistake, Fars agency reported.
Previously Iranian First Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi has ordered the stopping of pistachio exports for six months in order to help regulate prices.
"Despite my deep respect towards Mr. Rahimi, the banning of pistachio exports was a mistake," Asgarovladi said.
"Iran's banning of pistachio exports is in favor to the U.S.," Asgarovladi said. "To reach Iran in terms of pistachio exports at the world market, the U.S. needs to invest about $2 billion, and us banning the exports will make their job easier."
He also said that at this point banning the exports will not help to regulate the prices.
"Since pistachio is considered a luxury item in the country, the distributors have already bought it all, before the upcoming Nooruz celebrations, and the ban decision therefore will not affect the market," Asgarovladi explained.
He added that if not for the ban, Iran could have earned $500-$600 million on pistachio exports.
"Currently, Iran's biggest competitors at this market are the U.S., Turkey, and recently China," Asgarovladi said.
Iranian Customs Administration data shows that each kilogramme of Iranian exquisite pistachio was being exported at $8.2.
This is while the same product is sold at around 500,000 rials (about $40) on the domestic market.
ISNA earlier reported that Iran exported some 80,000 tons of pistachio in the first 10 months of the current Iranian calendar year which began on March 20, 2012.
Head of Iranian Pistachio Farmers Organization Mohsen Jalalpour previously said that Pistachio output is projected to reach 200,000 tons this year, while exports are estimated to amount to 130,000 tons.
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