“Smuggling was one of the important barriers to increasing the export value of saffron for the past year,” member of Iran's National Saffron Council, Ali Hosseini told ILNA.
In an interview with ILNA news agency, the economic activist said that smugglers sell one kilo of saffron for about $600-$700, which has reduced the price of Iranian saffron in the global market.
Referring to Chinese dealers in this market, Ali Hosseini added “Officials' negligence boosts number of Chinese speculators, affecting the Iranian saffron export market.”
“Unofficial exiting of saffron by smugglers in inappropriate conditions reduces the quality of this product and damages the reputation of Iranian saffron,” he said.
The member of Iran's National Saffron Council also pointed to the coronavirus outbreaks and said “This crisis shows that Iran is not ready to face the emergency situation in its trade sector.”
Iran's saffron export has decreased, but the country continues to export saffron, he said in another interview. According to Hosseini, 10-30 tons of saffron can be exported per month.
Saffron is one of the most important industries in the world. The industry has the capacity to bring a large amount of foreign currency to the non-oil sector. Iran is the world’s biggest producer of saffron and accounts for more than 90% of global production.