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Iran pistachio exports down 33% in year to March: IRICA

Iranian customs office figures show pistachio exports reached $915 million in the year to late March.

Iranian customs office (IRICA) figures show pistachio exports from the country declined by nearly a third in the calendar year to March 20.

IRICA spokesman Rouhollah Latifi said on Tuesday that annual pistachio exports from Iran reached a total of $915 million in late March.

Shipments declined 33% in volume terms to stand at over 135,000 metric tons over the past calendar year, said Latifi, adding that Iranian pistachio had reached o 75 countries around the world.

He added that sales of green unshelled pistachio had accounted for a bulk of Iranian exports over the year to March as shipments reached nearly $700 million in value terms.

IRICA figures showed that China, India and Russia were the largest buyers of Iranian green pistachio over the period.  

That comes as annual exports of dry unshelled pistachio from Iran totaled nearly $216 million in March, said Latifi, adding the country had sold more than 19,000 tons of the variety to customers in Germany, India, the United Arab Emirates and a handful of other countries.  

The official blamed adverse weather and lower crop for a sharp decline in pistachio exports from Iran over the calendar year to March.

Iran is the world’s largest producer of pistachio with more than 40% of the global production of the nut.

The country 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.

Those figures showed that pistachio exports from Iran had risen by nearly 56% in value terms over the year to March 2021.

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