Iran imports over 111 million cigarettes
Tehran, Iran, Dec. 19
By Milad Fashtami - Trend:
Iran imported 111.6 million cigarettes in the first eight months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21 - Nov. 21).
According Iran's Custom Administration, the figure stood at 108.4 million cigarettes in the same time span last year, Iran's Fars News Agency reported.
Iranian Tobacco Company's managing director, Masoum Najafian, said previously that some 65-66 billion cigarettes were smoked in Iran in the previous calendar year, which ended on march 20.
"Around 20 billion cigarettes were smuggled into the country in the previous year," he said. The smuggled cigarettes account for around 25 percent of the domestic $11-billion market.
According to Najafian, Iranian Tobacco Company sold 7.05 trillion rials ($235 million based on the exchange rate of USD at the free market) worth of products in the previous Iranian calendar year.
The figure is 32 percent more than its preceding year.
The company produced 19 billion cigarettes in the previous year, which shows a 15-percent increase compared to its preceding year.
The high price of Iranian-made cigarettes in comparison to the price of smuggled foreign brands has become a tough challenge for Iranian Tobacco Company.
Iranian dealers are having a hard time selling domestically-made cigarettes in the market.
Delays in issuing holograms for imported cigarettes have also encouraged smugglers to trade more and more cigarettes illegally.
The average price of a pack of smuggled cigarettes is around 80,000 rials ($2.5 based on the rate of USD at the free market), while Iran Tobacco Company's average price stands at 130,000 rials ($4.1) per pack.