Iran’s trade ministry (MIMT) has started massive chicken meat imports from Turkey and Brazil as authorities struggle to contain soaring prices of poultry products that have caused shortages in parts of the country.
A senior MIMT official said on Tuesday that small chicken meat shipments would arrive in Iran through land borders from Turkey within the next few days.
Sodayf Beygzadeh said larger shipments from Brazil would take time to reach Iran through sea although he insisted that imports from other countries would be possible following an emergency decree issued by the government that allowed imports of up to 50,000 metric tons of chicken meat.
Iran’s Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri on Tuesday communicated a Cabinet legislation approved two days ago allowing massive imports of chicken with the purpose of balancing the domestic market of white meat.
The legislation allows the imports of poultry meat using exchange at a subsidized price of 42,000 for a US dollar against the Iranian rial. The rate, which is only used for imports of a handful of basic goods, is much lower than a market price of 247,500 for the rial against the dollar.
Iran is a major poultry producer with domestic chicken-rearing industry supplying nearly 7,000 tons of meat per day to the local market.
However, prices have soared in recent weeks on the back of reports that poultry producers have lower access to subsidized feed supplies.
Other reports have suggested that chicken meat is being smuggled on a considerable scale from Iran to countries like Iraq where a difference in exchange price has led to growing demand for food products coming from Iran.