Strong demand for Iranian kiwifruit last season spurred on increased plantings, which has resulted in more production in Iran this season. The ban on European goods in Russia has also encouraged increased demand for fruit there, which has opened up more opportunities for Iran's kiwifruit exporters.
“This year, production will be higher compared to the previous year,” said Sadegh Mousavi of Ario. “I think it will increase by about 10 or 20 percent.” A quality crop last year led to increased demand, and growers accommodated that demand with more production. Sadegh estimated they'll have up to 1,500 metric tons of kiwifruit available for export this season between November and May. India, the United Arab Emirates and Eastern European countries are the top markets destination for Iranian kiwifruit. This year, with a ban on European goods in Russia, the Russian market has increased in prominence for Iranian exporters.
“We used to trade to Russia through Azerbaijan, because some Russian importers would have problems with Iranian exporters,” explained Sadegh. “But there are now more Russian companies trading directly with us. I think we will export between 20 and 30 percent more fruit than last year because of the expanded Russian market.” Ario is currently sending its fruit to Vladivostok, and Sadegh noted that they will likely end up sending 250 metric tons to Russia this season.
This year's kiwifruit crop in Iran contains smaller sizes, and some growers tried to get bigger sizes by thinning their trees so the trees could focus their resources on fewer pieces of fruit. Competition from Italian growers has depressed prices, which has been a challenge for Iran's growers, and the lack of sorting machines in the industry, which is a persistent problem, is also something Ssadegh noted growers have to overcome.
“Additionally, we don't have direct access to some countries because of sanctions,” said Sadegh. “But, despite these challenges, we'll try our best and export good quantities this season.”
Ario Fruit Co
Tel : +98 21 66965219
Cell : +98 9124663086 Sadegh Mousavi
Web : www.ariofruit.com, www.kiwifruit.ir
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