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Smuggling, export of Iranian cigarettes down by nearly half until November 2019

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Smuggling and export for Iranian cigarettes nearly halved in the 8-month period ending in November 2019. (Photo by Mehr)


Iran’s ministry of industry says Iranian-made cigarettes had a lower appeal for foreign customers and smugglers in the eight-month period ending in late November 2019 as figures nearly halved compared to the similar period last year.

The ministry, known as MIMT, said legal exports between March 21 and November 21 this year had stood at 80 million cigarettes, or four million packs of 20s, down 47 percent compared to the similar period in 2018.

It said smuggling, which account for the bulk of the cigarettes sent outside Iran, also plummeted by 42.6 percent to stand at 8.16 billion, or just more than four billion packs of 20s.

The total domestic consumption of cigarettes produced inside Iran, including those bearing famous international trademarks, reached 43.33 billion, or over 21.6 billion packs of 20s, over the same period, said the report covered in the official IRNA agency.

There was no data available on the imports of cigarettes or illegal trafficking into the Iranian territory of products of major cigarette companies.

However, such imports have been significantly down over the past few years, both due to more government restrictions on retails and lower demand inside Iran for such cigarettes.

The lower export of cigarettes from Iran compared to the last year comes despite the fact that the country keeps shipping more and more tobacco to other countries.

A report in October showed that tobacco exports from Iran had increased by almost 10 times in the first five months of the Iranian calendar year beginning in late March 2019.

The report said Iran had exported more than 799 tons (over 880 American tons) of tobacco until September, a historic high and an increase of 955.5 percent compared to the same period in 2018.

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