Iran's Quarterly Rice Imports Surge 140 Per Cent


Iran imported US$609 million worth of rice in the first quarter of the current calendar year, a 140 percent increase over the same period last year.

Iran's Mehr News Agency (MNA) reported the republic's rice imports reached 537,000 tonnes, up 93 percent year on year.

India, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey were the major exporters of rice to Iran.

Iran's current calendar year begins from March 21, 2013.

Rice Producers Association director Jamil Alizadeh Shayeq said last week Iran's rice domestic demand is about 500,000 tonnes a year.

"Importing such a large amount of rice will certainly create disorder in the market," he said.

Mehdi Kaboli, an official from the Agricultural Jihad Ministry, said last December Iran plans to produce over 2.4 million tonnes of rice in the current Iranian calendar year.

Iran plans to become self-sufficient in rice production within the next three years.