Spices

Saffron: knockdown prices in Iran

July 2, 2021 8:25 AM, Der AUDITOR
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TEHRAN. Although Iran’s saffron exports were only nominally down in terms of volume in May compared with last year, the export value has slumped by 52%. This sharp decline is driven by the depreciation of the Iranian rial against the US dollar. May certainly illustrates a large discrepancy. While saffron is traded as the world’s most expensive spice in the international retail market, suppliers in Iran are selling at give-away prices.

Unfair pricing

Official customs statistics show that Iran exported 16,541 kg of saffron worth USD 8.384 million between 21 April and 20 May this year. This is nominally up on the 15,955 kg worth USD 7.743 million shipped overseas in March/April and the rise is attributed to good export demand, which raised the average export price to USD 507/kg in April/May.

The annual comparison, however, highlights a totally different trend. Although overseas shipments only ranged nominally higher at 16,568 kg in April/May 2020, the export value was much higher at USD 17,4

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