As per the new regulations, bananas, mangos and pineapples could be imported into Iran, provided apples are exported in return. The regulation, effective as of December 8, will stay in effect until the end of the current Iranian year (March 19, 2020).
The government made this decision to support domestic apple producers. It is estimated that this year more than 3.65 million tons of apples will be produced across the country, which will be about 1.5 million tons more than the domestic demand for the fruit.
“In the last fiscal year (ended March 20, 2019), apple production amounted to 2 million tons, of which about 200,000 tons worth $150 million were exported,” said Reza Nourani, the head of National Union of Agricultural Products.
However, a lower production due to frost led to a noticeable price increase in the domestic market during the year.
“This is while Iran produced more than 3 million tons of apples in the fiscal 2017-18 with exports standing at $450 million,” Nourani said. He believes that because of abundant rainfall at the beginning of this year (started March 21), production will reach 4-4.5 million tons by the end of the current Iranian year.
Nourani expects 1-1.5 million tons of apples will be exported by the end of the current fiscal year, generating close to $1 billion.