Iran’s ambassador to Russia, Kazem Jalali said on Friday that the country is increasing its purchases of Russian grain in a bid to become Russia’s number one importer of the product.
“We provide (our people) with Russian grain – this wasn’t the case in the past. Since 2021, the process of grain acquisitions is changing inside Iran. Last year, I believe, we were in second place in our purchases from Russia. Next year we will, I think, be number one,” the diplomat said at the ‘Made in Russia’ forum.
Iran would need to import at least seven million tons of wheat in the year leading up to March 2023, and the country’s Grain Union estimates that this will be the second year of significant imports following a drought that affected domestic production.
Last year, the country imported 16.5 million tons of grain, with wheat making up about half of the total volumes, data from Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization showed.
The statement by the Iranian ambassador comes amid a new record grain harvest in Russia. This year yields have exceeded 147 million tons, while volumes of wheat are about to reach 100 million tons, according to the country’s Agriculture Ministry. It’s expected that in the agricultural year 2022-2023 the country will export about 50 million tons of grain, including 39.5 million tons of wheat.
Russia is the largest wheat exporter in the world, followed by Canada and the US. In the agricultural year 2021-2022, Russia delivered 38.1 million tons of grain, including 30.7 tons of wheat, mainly to Egypt, Turkey and countries in South Asia, and became the world’s largest grain exporter, according to the Russian Trade Minister Maksim Reshetnikov.