FATF Restrictions Have Lowered Rice Imports
IRAN NEWS ECONOMIC DESK
TEHRAN – Secretary of Iran Rice Association Jamil Alizadeh Shayeq says despite prediction on the rise in domestic rice production, restrictions which have been imposed by India and Pakistan have affected rice imports and it had played influential role in the hike in price of rice in Iran.
Speaking to ILNA, Alizadeh Shayeq said pointed to the rise in rainfalls in the past three years, the country has witnessed good precipitation in last winter and this year’s spring and it was predicted that rice production would rise this year.
He noted that last year some 2.4m tons of rice was produced in the country and this year its amount will increase.
Asked why the prices soar despite the rise in domestic production, he said despite the rise in production, the production cost has also increased, and because of restrictions imposed by some countries for exports to Iran, one cannot expect the decrease in the rice price.
Alizadeh Shayeq added that Iran mainly imports rice from India and Pakistan and these two countries due to the U.S. sanctions as well as Iran’s problem with joining the FATF have restricted their rice exports to Iran.
On the probable price of the domestic rice in the upcoming days, he said the country is currently in the early days of harvest season and supply of rice has not reached its peak but one can buy good rice in the northern provinces for some 25,000 tomans per kilo. He further said t in fact, the prices in the consumer provinces like Tehran will increase because of transportation and packing costs.
Alizadeh Shayeq further said the reason behind current skyrocketing price of rice is lack of supervision by the supervisory bodies. Since the time Iran has left the FATF and the sanctions have been intensified, rice exporting countries to Iran, mainly India and Pakistan, have imposed some restrictions and it has three-folded the price of rice in Iran since the beginning of the current year, he added.
In April, the Agriculture Ministry temporarily lifted restrictions on rice cultivation in the country after it had announced plans to gradually limit and ultimately ban the production of this staple crop in all provinces, except the provinces of Gilan and Mazandaran, amid fears of drought.
At that time Mr. Alizadeh Shayeq said, “All provinces that enjoy bountiful water resources due to the recent high levels of precipitation and those with favorable weather conditions and enough raw material [seeds, fertilizer, etc.] can engage in rice cultivation this year. These provinces have also been allowed to dedicate more land to this cultivation.”
The official believes that the imposition of restrictions on rice cultivation was “irrational” from the outset.