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Export of agricultural, dairy products up: Iran MP

Tehran, A lawmaker said the depreciation of Iran's currency has translated into better conditions for exports, a fact that can be seen in the growth in exports of agricultural and dairy products during March 21June 21.

Ahmadali Keikha told Iran Daily, The devaluation of the national currency, brought about as a result of (US) sanctions, has led to a state of affairs in which exports of agricultural products have become more economically viable.

He added, Our agricultural products, compared to the same foreign products, have an edge in market competition for export.

Iran's currency began to slump after the US announced its withdrawal from the multilateral Iran nuclear deal in May, despite the dismay of allies, and reimposed sanctions on Iran.

The weakened domestic currency has stimulated exports while making imports more expensive � a desirable route to shape an exportoriented economy taken by many export powerhouses such as China.

Iran exported agricultural products worth $3.3 billion during the seven months to November, posting a 16.5percent growth compared to the figure for the same period last year, IRNA reported.

Keikha cited fewer restrictions for agricultural products as one of the reasons for the rise in exports, but called on the government not to impose any export bans on such products that could negatively affect the farmers' livelihoods.

Instead of placing bans for exports, the government can levy taxes or tariffs for agricultural products to control the market, he said.

The government has had to intervene and place bans on the export of some agricultural products after some foreign traders, especially in Iraq, bought the Iranian crops in bulk, significantly driving prices up in Iran. Keikha said Iran Customs Administration and organizations in charge of introducing taxes have to devise plans to 'balance' the market.

Pointing to the increase in the exports of dairy products, Keikha said the sector has 'high capacities' for increased production in the country and also export.

The increase in the rates of foreign currencies has positively affected the export of dairy products and created an opportunity for producers to export their products, he added.

Close to 87,000 tons of yogurt worth $108 million were exported from Iran in the eight months to November 21, indicating a 20percent decline in weight but a twopercent rise in value compared to the figures for the same period last year, ISNA reported.

The lawmaker called on the government to provide further incentives for dairy producers, saying increased production will also lead to a decline in prices domestically.

Keikha regretted that the Iranian economy is so dependent on oil and said the government should try to wean the economy off oil revenues.

Boosting exports of nonoil goods and replacing them gradually for oil export is one of the ways to do so, he concluded.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency IRNA


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