Agri Commodities

Iran’s Agriculture Ministry Ups Export Duty To 180% To Rein In Soaring Prices Of Onion

Iran is one of the world’s greatest onion exporters and offers quality onions to the global markets at competitive prices. The country’s Ministry of Agriculture has raised export duty for onions to 180% of its value in an attempt to control the rising prices of the commodity in the domestic market. 

Rise In The Export Duty Of Onions 

The rise in the export duty of onions has been witnessed for the 2nd time in about a month’s time which previously increased from 50% to 100%. As per the Statistical Center of Iran, domestic prices of onion rose within a single month by a massive 43.9% during the 10th month of the current Iranian year (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) as compared to the previous month. The increase in price coincides with the fact that Iran produces an abundance of onions, which are increasingly being exported in large quantities. Officials attribute the local market’s rising prices to the illegal export of onions to nearby nations. 

Currently, the Agriculture Ministry claims it is importing onions to keep prices under control. Plans are reportedly underway to import 50,000 tons because a 100,000-ton shipment has already been discharged at Jask Port in the southern Hormozgan Province. 

Iran’s Onion Exports 

The head of the Agriculture Ministry’s Export Department explained that during the seven months from the beginning of the current Iranian year (March 21-Oct. 22), around a total of 246,000 tonnes of onions worth $34 million were exported from the country. During the same period of the previous Iranian year (March 2021–22), exports stood at 162,000 and were worth $27.2 million.

Maharram Soltani was quoted regarding the exports, “The export volume stood at 101,000 tons worth $14 million in the 7th month of the year [Sept. 23-Oct. 22]. Part of this export was due to the rise in Pakistan’s demand,”. 

He stated: “Recent floods in Pakistan have increased the export of vegetables, including onions, to this country,” noting that exports in the seventh month of previous year stood at 71,000. 

Iran’s onion production 

Another official from the Agriculture Ministry mentioned that onions are cultivated in 30 out of 31 provinces in Iran. As per him, Iran’s onion production in the previous year stood at more than 3.4 MMT and that the current year’s output declined due to drought and scarcity of water resources. He stated that between March 2022-23, the country expects the production of more than 3 million metric tonnes (MMT) of onions, grown on 61,707 hectares of farmland which would be an 11.67% decline in comparison to the previous year. 

Hosseing Asghari was also quoted by a news agency in Iran stating that “During the first half of the year [March 22-Sept. 22], more than 1.4 tons of onions were produced in Iran, and we expect for 1.6 million more to be produced by year’s end [in March 2023].” 

“Kerman with 600,000 tons, Fars with 500,000 tons, Hormozgan with 350,000 tons, Isfahan with 350,000 tons, and Kermanshah with 200,000 tons are the top five producers of onions in Iran.” 

“We exported close to 157,000 tons to Pakistan and Iraq during the first six months of the current year. Last year’s overall exports stood at 410,000 tons worth around $85.3 million.” 

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