Iran is one of the leading buyers of Russian wheat, barley and sunflower oil. Supplies to Iran have been growing steadily in recent years and, according to experts, there is potential to increase export volumes and expand the range. This was announced on September 25 in Tehran during the plenary session “Russia-Iran: mutually beneficial cooperation in the field of trade in agricultural products,” organized by the Federal Center “Agroexport” and the Russian Ministry of Agriculture as part of a business mission of Russian companies exporting agricultural products to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
At the plenary session, moderated by Deputy Director of Agroexport Andrey Kucherov, business representatives and experts in the field of agro-industrial complex of Iran and Russia discussed key areas for the development of bilateral cooperation in the agricultural sector, issues of logistics, infrastructure, access conditions, standards and requirements, as well as financial settlements between Russian and Iranian companies.
Director of the Department of International Cooperation and Development of Exports of Agro-Industrial Products of the Russian Ministry of Agriculture Maxim Markovich noted that Iran is one of the largest states in the Middle East and an important trading partner of Russia in the region. The trade turnover of agricultural products between countries has been growing steadily in recent years and has more than doubled since 2020. “The active growth of trade and prospects for expanding cooperation require building long-term business contacts. Deepening business ties will allow us to create new supply channels and expand the range of agricultural products in our trade,” Markovich expressed confidence.
The Director General of the Bureau of International Affairs and Specialized Organizations of the Ministry of Agricultural Jihad of Iran, Hooman Fathi, also shared his assessment of trade development. “Cooperation with Russia is of a strategic nature; for us this is a promising and extremely important direction. And agriculture plays a special role in bilateral relations,” he assured. Fathi admitted that there are certain problems in logistics and infrastructure, but they are being systematically resolved through the close work of government departments and private businesses. In addition, interaction between the supervisory services of the two states is actively and effectively expanding.
According to Deputy Director of Agroexport Andrey Kucherov, supplies to Iran of soybean and rapeseed oils, legumes, beef, lamb and poultry have great potential. “According to our forecast, by 2030, the volume of supplies to Iran in value terms could increase to $4.5 billion. There is every opportunity to increase the export of wheat, sunflower oil, corn, and barley. I am confident that our business mission will help create conditions for expanding the range of supplies of agricultural products and establishing contacts between our countries,” emphasized Kucherov.
Advisor to the head of Rosselkhoznadzor Vasily Lavrovsky noted that the current year has become one of the busiest in terms of the intensity of contacts between control and supervisory services. “We are currently awaiting the certification of 6 poultry meat producing enterprises, as well as the final results of reviewing the questionnaires of beef and lamb producers,” he listed. In addition, a request for veterinary and sanitary requirements for the supply of turkey meat has been sent.
Counterpart from the Iranian side, the head of the veterinary organization of the Ministry of Agricultural Jihad of Iran, Fahid Salehi, said that the Ministry’s plans to import frozen chicken meat from Russia to Iran have recently begun, and the first test batch has already been delivered. He also expressed his readiness to assist in opening the transit of live cattle and small cattle through Iran to Iraq and the Persian Gulf countries.
During the plenary session, representatives of companies and industry unions discussed prospects in the trade of grain and oil and fat products. Thus, Deputy General Director of UZK JSC Ksenia Bolomatova noted that Iran is among the top 3 importers of Russian grain: at the end of the 2022/23 season, supplies amounted to 5.6 million tons. According to her, the forecast for wheat imports to Iran for the current year is 4.5 million tons. “We hope that traditionally the majority will be from Russia,” added Bolomatova.
Director of the Department of Cooperation with the Countries of Central Asia, the Caucasus and Russia of the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran Sepideh Akbarpour offered Russian companies the assistance of Iranian trade representatives working in Russia, and also called on Russian companies to more actively participate in exhibitions and various events in Iran.
The plenary session was also attended by the executive director of the international business office of the Ministry of Agricultural Jihad of Iran, Dr. Jahedi, a member of the board of directors of the Iranian Union of Feed and Grain Importers, Davud Rangi, the head of the Iranian Association of Vegetable Oil Producers, Amir Houshang Birashk, executive director
of the Grain Union of Iran Fariba Magsoudi, Head of the Competence Center for Halal Products and Services of the Russian Quality System Marat Nizamov, independent expert Ilya Ilyushin.
The business mission of Russian exporters with the Islamic Republic of Iran will last until September 27. In addition to the plenary session, two round tables, three working trips, as well as at least 300 individual b2b meetings between Russian and Iranian companies are planned as part of the business program.