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Iran cuts back on grains imports amid rising inventories

Customs figures show basic goods imports into Iran dropped by 29% y/y in the six months to September.

Iran has cut back on imports of grains amid rising inventories that have been boosted by a higher domestic crop, according to figures by Iran’s Government Trading Corporation (GTC).

GTC figures cited in a Wednesday report by the ILNA news agency showed that Iran had imported 3.117 million metric tons (mt) of basic goods, mostly grains, in the six months to September 22.

The report said the imports figure was a fall of 29% compared with the April-September period last year.

It said the decline was mainly due to “the satisfactory status” of grain stocks in Iran, adding that grain purchases from domestic producers had increased significantly this year to cope with a global shortage caused by the war in Ukraine.

Government figures show Iran bought some 7.2 million mt of wheat from domestic farmers in the harvesting season that ended in late July.

The figure was an increase of 60% from GTC’s wheat purchases in April-July 2021. That comes as payments to domestic wheat growers reached an all time high of 870 trillion rials (nearly $3 billion) this year.

Iran expects even a higher domestic crop in 2023 amid better price incentives offered to farmers and other measures adopted by the government to boost activity in the sector.

Iranian agriculture ministry on Monday unveiled a $1 billion plan that it said will lead to a major increase in the country’s agricultural output in the farming year to September 2023.

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