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Iran allows zero-tariff exports for potato amid rising oversupply

Iran cuts exports tariff for potato to zero amid an oversupply of the staple crop inside the country.

Iranian trade officials have removed exports tariffs for potato amid an oversupply in the country which is expected to intensify during the current harvesting season.

A senior official at Iran’s ministry of trade (MIMT) said on Sunday that zero-rated duty on potato exports will be effective until further notice.

Mohammad Reza Kalami, who serves as head of MIMT’s domestic trade department, said that a current oversupply of potato is expected to increase as harvesting season for the crop normally ends in Iran November.

Kalami said the government would consider a delay for return of proceedings gained from exports to further incentivize potato exporters.

He said removing the duty on exports had come in response to a request by potato exporters in Iran. 

However, reports in recent days had suggested that farmers and exporters where demanding the MIMT to halve its fixed base price for potato exports to $100 per metric ton.

It also comes as agricultural authorities in key potato-growing provinces, including in Hamedan in the west and in Ardabil in northwest Iran, had warned they were running out of storage space for surplus potato production.

Iran ranked 13th in the world last year in terms of the volume of potato produced as total output reached over 5.1 million metric tons from 160,000 hectares of lands, according to figures by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The output of the staple crop is expected to grow in the upcoming years as farmers are using modern cultivation and irrigation technologies to increase production to nearly 70 tons per hectare.

Iran’s potato exports are mainly aimed at neighboring countries, including to Russia, Azerbaijan and Iraq.

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