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Saffron: coronavirus gives rise to illegal trading activities

May 4, 2020 1:06 PM, Der AUDITOR
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TEHRAN. Traders report that smuggling is on the rise in the saffron market. Problem is that farmers are left with few alternatives but to turn to smugglers as economic growth has slowed. Traditional export destinations, such as Europe, have also been cut off.

Smuggling spells heavy blow for market

Demand is normally subdued over Ramadan and this year is no exception. Problem, however, is that the coronavirus pandemic has put a dent on global demand and the economic situation is anything but certain, which will add further pressure to the market. Exports have declined to the lowest level in two months and traders report a boom in smuggling.

Attempts have so far failed to protect the farmers from price cuts by trading saffron on the commodity exchange as this has brough in speculators. As demand is declining and the future is uncertain many farmers have now turned to smugglers and only offer low-quality saffron in the market. Smugglers are even said to be more active than real traders as the engage in illegal trafficking much to the detriment of the market in Iran.

As traditional export routes, especially to Europe, have been cut off with air travel been largely suspended and borders been closed illegal market activities have received a boost. High-quality saffron and saffron bulbs from Iran are sold to buyers in the United Arab Emirates, India and China and are frequently falsely claimed as originating in Afghanistan. The decline in demand has driven down market prices over the last two weeks, with the noted exception of Bunch saffron, which is trading in a firm range.

 

Saffron, premium quality, Iran

Type

EUR/kg

Bunch, Dasteh

444

Poushal

509

All Red Sargol

535

Negin

679

FOB Iran

 

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price chart, saffron, dried, Negin, Iran
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