Iran imports $12 billion worth of staple food in 18 months

Business Materials 28 December 2013 18:28 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 28

By Rahim Zamanov - Trend:

Iran has imported some $12 billion worth of staple food in the past 18 months, head of the Imports Commission of the Iran Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Majid Reza Hariri said, the IRNA News Agency reported on December 28.

"The country's raw material imports have dropped by 30 per cent in the first eight months of the current year," he said, adding that the country's manufactured products imports have also faced a 40-per cent decrease in the mentioned period.

"Rice, wheat, and cooking oil were the main imported items among food staples in the current year," Hariri stated.

The managing director Iran's State Commerce Company, Abbas Qobadi, said on Dec. 18 that the company has stopped importing rice, sugar, and cooking oil, Fars News Agency reported.

Qobadi, also the country' deputy industry, mine, and trade minister, went on to note that Iran has stored enough of the mentioned items to last for 4 to 6 months.

Iran imported 1.385 million tons of rice worth over $1.61 billion in the first eight months of the current calendar year, which started on March 21.

The figure shows 111 per cent rise compared to the same period last year.

Iran imported 70 per cent of the mentioned amount from India.

Rice tops the list of Iran's imported food staples.

Iran also imported 416,000 tons of soybean oil worth $519 million, 4.65 per cent more than last year.

The country also imported 847,000 tons sugar, which is 19 per cent less than the same period last year.

The Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor, and Social Welfare has confirmed that the country plans to give two food packages to 3.5 million low-income workers, the Mehr News Agency reported on Dec. 25.

The first package is likely to be distributed in February and the second one at the end of the year.

The ministry also announced that an additional 12 million low-income Iranians will also receive the food packages.

Edited by C.N.