Russia seeking agricultural import from Iran

Business Materials 23 January 2016 11:43 (UTC +04:00)

Tehran, Iran, January 23

By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:

The Russian side has requested Iran to provide its market with pistachio, dates, grapes, vegetables, etc., said Deputy Minister of Agriculture of Iran Mohammad Ali Tahmasbi said.

He said that Iran will export the mentioned goods through cooperatives under a certain brand, Tasnim news agency reported Jan. 23.

Tahmasbi added that Russian officials have said they need to import 1.5 million tons of vegetables.

"Our pistachio production is about 230 thousand tons a year, for which a good market can be found in Russia. We have also 600 to 700 thousand tons of surplus production of apples," the official noted.

Regarding production of fruits in Iran, he stated that Iran produces about one million tons of dates a year, which is more than the domestic consumption.

Also, 300 thousand tons of kiwi fruit is produced in the country, which again overpasses domestic consumption, he said.

Iran found a good opportunity to gain a larger share in the Russian market after relations between Moscow and Ankara deteriorated following the downing of Russia's Su-24 bomber over Syria by a Turkish jet on November 24.

On November 28, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on economic measures against Ankara in retaliation. The decree, which entered into force on January 1, 2016, included a food import ban on certain categories of products.

Iran exported $151 million worth of products to Russia between March and October last year. About $80 million of the amount fell to the share of agricultural products. In other words, agricultural products account for more than half of the value of exports from Iran to Russia.

Moscow recently granted four Iranian dairy factories with permissions to export products to Russia.

According to Iranian officials, high tariffs, lack of insurance for market risks, as well as transportation infrastructure are the major hurdles against Iranians exporting goods to Russia.