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Above Average Iran Wheat Production Forecast in 2013

07 August 2013

IRAN - The 2013 wheat harvest is nearing completion. The final production estimates are not yet available, however, preliminary forecast puts the 2013 wheat production at 14.5 million tonnes, exceeding by some five per cent the already above average harvest in 2012.

In June 2013, the Central Bank of Iran allocated IRR 70 trillion (USD 5.7 billion on the official rate of IRR 12 260 per dollar) for buying wheat from domestic farmers, reports the FAO.

In the current season the Government increased the guaranteed purchase price of wheat from IRR 7 200 to IRR 8 000. As of end of July 2013, about 3 million tonnes of wheat were purchased domestically.

Wheat and barley are the main crops cultivated during the winter period. While wheat is the dominant cereal in the country accounting for almost 70 per cent of the aggregate cereal production.

Irrigated wheat covers only one-third of the total wheat area, thus the bulk of the wheat crop depends on the performance of the seasonal precipitation. Most of the rainfed wheat crop is concentrated in the north-western region of the country. Small amounts of rice and maize are also produced in the country.

Wheat imports expected to decline but overall cereal imports expected to remain high in 2013/14 marketing year (April/March)

Wheat imports in the new marketing year are forecast at 2 million tonnes, about one-third of the wheat imports of 6.1 million tonnes in the previous year, mainly due to higher carryover stocks following large purchases in 2012.

Total cereal imports, however, are forecast to remain relatively high at 9.4 million tonnes, consisting of maize, wheat and rice.

Iran’s state grain buyer continues to build its strategic stocks in light of concerns about domestic food security.

Reports from traders indicate that, so far, in 2013/14 (April/March marketing year) Iran made large purchases of cereals on the international markets, including a purchase of 800 000 tonnes of wheat of Russian and Baltic Sea origin ahead of the country’s elections in June 2013. Discussions are underway with specific trading partners.

Further Reading

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