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Saffron: Afghanistan spells trouble

May 4, 2023 at 11:10 AM , Der AUDITOR
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TEHRAN/BRUSSELS. Smuggling is a great problem for Iran’s saffron industry and Afghanistan is emerging as a new challenge in this respect. The EU import value hit a five-year high in 2022.

Smugglers undercut prices by 30%

Export restrictions are weighing heavily on Iran’s saffron market and have given rise to illegal smuggling. With Afghanistan now paving the way for farmers to switch from poppy to saffron, Iran’s competitiveness will be further compromised. Inevitable consequence is that more crocuses will be illegally transported to the country’s neighbour. Suppliers reckon that as much as 40% of the 220 mt of saffron exported last year were smuggled.

They are calling on the government to lift restrictions and to permit exp

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