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Iran pistachio exports down 19% y/y in March-December

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)
Iran says pistachio exports declined by nearly a fifth in March-December to over $738 million.

Figures by Iran’s customs office (IRICA) show that pistachio exports from the country declined by around a fifth in the nine months to December 21.

IRICA spokesman Rouhoallah Latifi said on Wednesday that total pistachio shipments from Iran in the March-December period had amounted to nearly $738.5 million in value terms, down by 19% against the similar period last year.

Latifi said, however, that pistachio had remained a major export commodity for Iran and a main item on the country’s list of agrifood exports over the nine months to late December as shipments had reached 70 destinations around the world.

A breakdown of exports figures by IRICA showed that China had remained the largest buyer of pistachio nuts from Iran over the March-December period with nearly $190 million worth of purchases that were almost entirely dedicated to shelled pistachio.

India came second on the list with over $106 million worth of purchases including nearly $72 million spent on shelled pistachio and over $34 million on unshelled pistachio, said Latifi.

Iraq, Russia, Germany, Kyrgyzstan, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey were the other largest customers of Iranian pistachio over the nine months to late December, he said.

Iran had reported record sales of pistachio in the fourth quarter of 2020 at around $540 million as IRICA figures published at the time showed the volume of shipments had doubled from the similar quarter in 2019 to nearly 90,000 metric tons.

IRICA’s annual figures show that pistachio exports rose by nearly 56% in value terms to a total of $1.1 billion at the end of the year to March 2021.

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