Iran to sell its stored tea to India, Turkey, Netherlands
Azerbaijan, Baku, Sep.23 /Trend F.Karimov/
Iran will sell its tea harvest which has been stored for 15 years in warehouses to India, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and the Netherlands, ISNA quoted Iran's tea organization head Ali Mohrer as saying.
The tea products, which have been stored since 1990s, will be sold at 10,000-20,000 rials (400-800 cents) per kilogram, he added.
Some 30,000 tons of tea is produced in Iran per year, of which 7,500 tons is consumed in the domestic market.
In June, Iran has increased the price for purchasing green tea leaves from domestic farmers by around 30 percent, the Fars News Agency quoted head of the Iranian association of tea farmers Iraj Hoosemi as saying.
The government increased the guaranteed purchasing price to 12,000 rials from 9,000 rials, he added.
Farmers are now satisfied with the new price, he said, adding that some 30,000 tons of green tea leaves have been purchased from farmers up to now.
In April, MP Mehrdad Lahouti said that the government has not paid some 20-30 percent of farmers' claims, which amounts to about 150 billion rials ($12.2 million).
Iran imported over 41,000 tons of tea, worth $200 million, in the first nine months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20-December 20, 2012), ISNA reported, citing data released by the Iranian Customs Administration.
Sri Lanka was the major exporter of tea to Iran, accounting for some half of the total imports, equaling $104 million.
India and the UAE ranked the second and the third, with $46 million and $35 million worth of exports respectively.
China, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Singapore, Russia, Kenya, and Vietnam were other sources of tea exports to Iran.
Iran has assured India it will include Indian tea in the top category of import items. Iran presently imports 11 million kilograms of tea from India annually, according to the Economic Times.
In April 2012, Standard Media reported that efforts of Kenya to open a tea market in Iran have paid off with increased exports. In January 2012, exports to Iran grew by 1271 percent compared to the corresponding period of last year.