Spices

Saffron: price shock boosts smuggling activities

May 7, 2024 at 11:01 AM , Der AUDITOR
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BRUSSELS/TEHRAN. Extreme weather conditions have halved Iran’s saffron production, exacerbated illegal trading activities and driven up market prices. These record-high prices present a challenge for EU importers.

Out of control

Smuggling has always been an issue for Iran’s saffron industry. As the country’s production has slumped this year, illegal trading activities have, however, spiralled out of control. According to the National Saffron Council as much as 10 mt of the spice are smuggled out of the country every month as local media highlight. Embargoes and sanctions are also making the situation worse. Direct shipments to the USA and Saudi Arabia have become impossible and import duties of 38% and 14% apply in China and India, which is far from cost-effective

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