Iraq Halts Watermelon Imports from Iran
Deputy Head of Iran Exports Confederation Seyyed Reza Nourani announced on Friday that the Iraqi government has halted watermelon imports from Iran in order to support Kurd farmers harvesting the same product. Iran continues exporting watermelons via Piranshahr’s border crossing.
“Governments usually take this kind of measures to support local farmers and domestic agriculture. However, the Iraqi businessmen will start importing watermelons from Iran after a few weeks.” Seyyed Reza Nourani said on Friday.
According to Reza Nourani, Iranians can export the surplus watermelons to other markets including the United Arab Emirates. “Iranians are currently exporting only premium watermelons to UAE because transferring products to Emirates will cost much more than exporting the same products to Iraq.” It is good to know that United Arab Emirates is the largest importer of watermelons in Middle East.
“Iranians used to export watermelons to Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia over the past few years. However, we are currently unable to export watermelons to these markets because of the shipping issues.” Seyyed Reza Nourani added.
From a few months ago, Valfajr Shipping Company stopped shipping goods and products to Arabian markets due to financial problems. Currently, it takes nearly 12 days for Iranians to export products to the mentioned Arab states.
On the other side, Deputy Head of Iran’s Trade Development Organization, Kioumars Fathollah Kermanshahi requests the Iraqi government to respect Iranian businessmen and traders.
“During the recent months, Iraqi officials have made many troubles for Iranian businessmen. We strongly recommend the Iraqi government to create better conditions for Iranians.” Fathollah Kermanshahi told reporters on Saturday.
Iran is currently the largest exporter of watermelons in the Middle East region followed by Syria and Saudi Arabia. It is worth mentioning that Iran’s annual production of watermelon reaches 2,300,000 tons.