Iran’s cigarette output up by 15 percent
Baku, Azerbaijan, March 19
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Iran produced19.011 billion cigarettes during the current Iranian calendar year which started on March 21, 2013, Managing Director of the Iranian Tobacco Company Masoum Najafian said, the country's Donya-e-eqtesad newspaper reported on March 19.
The figure indicates a 14.93 percent increase compared to Iran's cigarette production during the last Iranian year.
The company sold $280.8 million (based on official exchange rate of 25,102 rials per each USD) worth of cigarettes during the current Iranian year which showed a rise by 32 percent compared to the preceding year.
Iran imported 9079 tons of cigarettes worth $80.687 million in the first11 months of the current Iranian calendar year.
The figures show a 2.35 percent increase and 8.8 percent decrease in terms of weight and value respectively in comparison to the same period of the previous year.
Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Russia were the main exporters of cigarettes to Iran. Ankara and Abu Dhabi alone accounts for 82 percent of Tehran's total cigarette imports.
Domestic companies supply only half the country's cigarette consumption, Najafian said, noting that Iranians annually pay $1.63 billion for cigarettes.
According to official figures, 63.8 million cigarettes were smoked in Iran last year.
The high price of Iranian-made cigarettes in comparison to the price of smuggled foreign brands has become a tough challenge for the Iranian Tobacco Company.
The Fars News Agency reported on September 2013 that smuggled cigarettes are much cheaper than domestic products on Iran's market.
The average price of a pack of smuggled cigarettes is around $2.5, while Iran Tobacco Company's average price stands at $4.1 per pack.
Iranian dealers are having a hard time selling domestically-made cigarettes on the market.
Delays in issuing holograms for imported cigarettes have also encouraged smugglers to trade an increasing amount of the product illegally.
Edited by S.M.