Head of the Iranian Rice Importers Association Mr. Masih Keshavarz says Iran’s rice imports have declined by 50 percent as the country may add Thailand and South America to the list of countries exporting rice to the country.
Speaking to ILNA, Keshavarz said that the quality of Indian and Pakistani rice is high and if the rice is to be imported based on the NIMA forex rate, their price will be multiplied, adding that the country should think about new markets for imports for importing the rice with lower price.
He then talked about the latest condition of rice imports in the country, saying that unfortunately before the government banned rice imports, the imports had almost been halted and according to the statistics, Iran’s rice imports have declined by 50 percent compared to the preceding year. He added that some 550,000 tons of rice have been imported into the country in the first half of the year.
Keshavarz added that the ministry of industry, mine, and trade had set a target for the current year and according to the target, it had been decided some 200,000 tons of rice to be imported per month and its total in five months should have been one million tons but currently the country has fallen behind by 50 percent regarding the set target.
He then noted that this decline would lead to the rise in the price of the rice in the market and would harm the households.
He reiterated that devaluation of the national currency against foreign currencies has a direct impact on the price of the rice, and since the price of dollar has increased in the NIMA system, the final cost of imported rice is around 25,000 tomans per kilo.
Keshavarz went on to say that all statistics and figures show that the country is 50 percent behind the schedule and the country has imported some 550,000 tons of rice in the first half of the year while its need is 1.5m tons.
He then pointed to the problem in the payment for imports of rice, adding for this reason some countries do not sell us their products.
He went on to say that if the domestic rice production can retain its share of the market and its price does not rise, the country can put behind this tough time. He reiterated that if rice price increases like other commodities and puts the public under pressure, the association will be forced to have an eye on imports and the government should cooperate with the private sector in order to import rice with cheap price from countries like Thailand and South American states.