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Mango oversupply in Iran: Union chief says fuel smuggling may be to blame

An Iranian farming union official says mango oversupply in the country may be due smuggling.

A farming union official in Iran says mango is being supplied to the country in huge quantities and at low prices as he suggests that people at the border with Pakistan may have been exchanging fruit shipments with smuggled fuel. 

Reza Nourani, who chairs Iran’s Nation Association of Agricultural Products, said on Monday that mango prices in the Iranian market had dropped significantly in recent weeks suggesting there was an oversupply which could be blamed on shipments reaching the country via unauthorized channels.

“The amount of mango existing in the market show that mango imports into Iran has increased abnormally and that legal imports would no longer be profitable ... There are certainly issues happening at the borders,” said Nourani in an interview with the ILNA news agency.

The official didn’t rule out reports suggesting that smugglers trade illegal fuel shipments for fruits in eastern Iranian borders.

He insisted that current mango prices in the Iranian market are not consistent with hard currency rates used by authorized companies to import fruits into the country.

Nourani said that smuggled fruits can cause major hygiene and health problems in Iran because they are not screened for potential pests and diseases.

Pakistan has become a major destination for gasoline and diesel smuggled out of Iran in recent years. Some reports suggest the country relies on smuggled fuel from Iran for more than a third of its demand.

Iran has plans to fence its border with Pakistan to prevent smuggling and to help legal trade between the two countries to improve.

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