Iran, one of the world's biggest raisin producers, is finding it increasingly hard to export its raisins, due to fierce competition from US and Turkish grape farmers. In a television interview on Friday, an official from the nation's dried fruit producers association explained that while Iran's raisin production will reach a record high of 140,000 tons, consumption doesn't exceed 10,000 tons a year.
"We are obliged to sell abroad but are increasingly faced with competition from the United States and Turkey, whose prices are clearly lower than ours", he added. "The Americans and the Turks took over our market because their prices are lower, their raisins are of better quality and most importantly because they are subsidized by their government", he explained.
He announced that, earlier this week, Iranian grape farmers asked President Mohammad Khatami to grant financial support to raisin producers. According to this official, world raisin production is approximately one million tons a year, compared with a global consumption of 720,000 tons. — (AFP, Tehran)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)