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Iran wheat imports up despite rising domestic output

Iran’s imports of wheat reached 1.733 million tons in the three months to late June.

Iran increased it imports of wheat in the quarter to late June despite forecasts showing that the country will benefit from higher domestic output this year.

A Saturday report by the ISNA news agency showed that Iranian imports of wheat in the three months to June 21 had reached a total of 1.733 million metric tons (mt).

Iran spent over $718 million on wheat imports in the June quarter, said the report, adding that the figure had accounted for 16% of the total resources the country had spent on the imports of basic goods, including grains and medicine, over the period.

That comes as total wheat imports into Iran over the calendar year to late March had amounted to 7 million mt as the government spent $2.5 billion or 13% of the funds dedicated to basic goods imports on wheat shipments.

The surge in wheat imports into Iran comes despite forecasts suggesting there will be a major increase in domestic production of wheat in the country this year.

Excerpts of a report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) published on Saturday showed that Iran’s wheat output will increase by 25% to reach 13 million mt this year.

FAO forecasted Iran’s total grain output would increase by 13.5% this year to reach 20.3 million mt while grain inventories will increase by 1.3 million mt to 12.8 million mt over the same period.

A military conflict between Russia and Ukraine that started early this year has disrupted exports of grains from the two main global suppliers.  

That has forced Iran to introduce measures to ensure it will have enough grain inventories, including by raising the price of domestic wheat purchases by nearly a half for the ongoing harvesting season.

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