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Saffron: transport costs massively increased

July 27, 2020 4:41 PM, Der AUDITOR
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TEHRAN. Market players report that the transport costs for Iranian saffron have almost tripled within one year. But that is not the only reason for declining export figures.

Exporters are struggling

As recently published figures show, more than 37 mt of saffron were exported to 52 countries in the first three months of the Iranian year (20 March to 20 June). The export value amounts to about USD 38,579,816. The main export destinations were Hong Kong (12.73 mt), Spain (9.12 mt) and the United Arab Emirates (3.49 mt). In total, 94% of the world's saffron crocuses are grown in Iran, the acreage is 115,000 ha. Last year 500 metric tonnes were produced, of which about 80% are exported. As around 99% of saffron exports take place by air, flight restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic have caused severe delays and losses. Transport costs have tripled compared to last - in 2019, they were a good EUR 2.00 for 1 kg of saffron, now they are EUR 6.00-7.00 per kg. Due to flight cancellations, many exporters have been forced to send their goods by ship, which has further increased transport costs. This caused exports to decline. However, market players expect that more saffron will be exported once all flights are resumed.

Volatile prices

Saffron prices have fluctuated strongly in the past two weeks. The popular Negin saffron rose by a good 9%, mainly due to good domestic demand, and currently stands at EUR 671 per kg FOB Iran. Poushal saffron has fallen slightly in price and costs EUR 451 per kg FOB Iran.

Saffron, premium quality, Iran

Type

EUR/kg

Bunch, Dasteh

389

Poushal

451

All Red Sargol

479

Negin

671

FOB Iran, *quantity 1 mt

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