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Iranian saffron is suffering from global isolation

Mintec Global
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TEHRAN – Iranian saffron is suffering from global isolation due to numerous gaps in packaging, sorting, branding, and lack of processing, and is still marketed as other countries’ packaging. Saffron is counted as a strategic product in all aspects and directions for Iran that can be easily used with purposeful, effective, and coordinated planning.

Iran is a unique and incomparable producer of saffron in the world. In addition to the historical record of hundreds of years of Iranian culture in growing saffron, the country has the top position in the world in producing saffron, the “Red Gold” of Iran.

Iran produces 95 per cent of the world’s saffron, most of which is produced in the fertile region of Khorasan, while this amount of production has made Iran the most important manufacturer of this crop. However, its share of the global market for this strategic product is only about 4 per cent. In this case, Iranian producers and exporters and Khorasans’ provinces farmers get the least benefit from the global saffron market. However, ignoring this issue can still be seen in the cultivation, export, and marketing of this strategic product. In addition, the profit from its export can be significantly increased by creating conversion, processing, and packaging industries.

The level of saffron cultivation was 100.000 hectares in Iran during the last year (March 2020 to March 2021). The production efficiency of 400 tons was estimated at 3.5 kg per hectare, and now the average performance is the same. At the same time, all horticultural and agricultural products have grown up to three times in recent 3 decades. However, in this field, although some farmers have managed to increase performance, on average significantly, not much has changed.

It is necessary to define the international legal identity for Iranian saffron in the world. So, in addition to the fact that saffron is known as Iran and maintaining its status, it is anticipated the world’s attention to this Iranian product. Countries such as Spain and Greece, which have significant activities in the field of saffron, packaging, and supply to the world, have defined the identity indicators of this product. In contrast, a specific and global identity has not yet been defined for Iranian saffron.

Over the past two weeks, the prices of various Iranian saffron exports have fluctuated. In the first week of this period, the prices of various Iranian saffron decreased due to the increase in the exchange rate of foreign currencies against the Rial. The increase in the price of foreign currencies is the postponement of the new round of talks between Iran and the member states of the JCPOA until the new government of Iran takes office. The price of saffron in the first week of this period decreased from 1.1 to 1.4 per cent. However, last week due to good export demand, the price of saffron increased, such as Sargol saffron that has been risen more. Last week, there was an increase in the price of Sargol saffron by about 3 per cent, Negin saffron by about 0.7 per cent, Pushal saffron by about 1 per cent, and Bunch saffron by 1.3 per cent. In general, compared to the last two weeks, the price of Iranian export Sargol saffron has increased by about 1.6 per cent, the price of Iranian Negin saffron has decreased by 0.7 per cent, and the price of Pushal and Bunch saffron is almost equal to the last two weeks.

ProductTypeGrade USD PriceEUR Price
SaffronNeginPremium Grade642 /kg554 /kg
All Red(Sargol)Premium Grade481 /kg414 /kg
PushalPremium Grade462 /kg399 /kg
Bunch(Dasteh)Premium Grade370 /kg319 /kg

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