Iran eyeing 2 million tons of wheat export

Business Materials 16 May 2016 21:14 (UTC +04:00)

Tehran, Iran, May 16

By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:

Iran expects to have two million surplus wheat to export this year, a new report says.

The country's Deputy Minister of Agriculture Ali Qanbari said the ministry expects to buy a total of 9.5 million tons of wheat from farmers by the end of the harvesting season, ISNA news agency reported May 16.

So far the ministry has bought 1.6 million tons of wheat at 20 trillion rials ($633 million at one dollar per 30,039 rials).

Food security is a serious matter for Iran, given the size of its population which has grown over 80 million and seen its food basket grow smaller. The country itself is for the major part an arid land.

Iran wheat production stood at 14 million tons in 2015-2016, the World Bank said in its Commodity Markets Outlook report, released Apr. 26.

The figure for 2013-2014 was 7.2 million tons. Iran has set the target of achieving wheat self-sufficiency in three to four years.

Wheat is the dominant crop cultivated in Iran, accounting for almost 70 percent of aggregate cereal production. Irrigated wheat covers almost one-third of the total wheat area. As a result, the bulk of the wheat crop depends on the performance of seasonal precipitation. Most of the rain-fed wheat crop is concentrated in the northwestern part of Iran. Iranians annually consume 14 million tons of wheat.

About 11 million tons out of the total number is used in food industry while about 2.5 million tons are used in industrial sectors and about one million ton is used as seed.