Iran the biggest market for Indian Long Grain aromatic rice will now open from next fiscal year 2015-16 after the assurance from Iranian authorities.

Tehran has not imported or signed any new contract for rice import from India since October 2014.Iranaian authorities state that giant rice stock in Tehran has suspended further new rice import contract in the country.

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Commerce Ministry told a team of Indian delegations who visited Tehran earlier this month that during last fiscal Tehran has imported around 1.4 million tons of Indian Basmati rice which was more than sufficient for their local rice consumption and the left over stock has been carried forward for the current fiscal year.

The Iranian authorities told the Indian team of delegation that Iran needs about 9 lakhs tones of rice for its annual domestic consumption and they will soon approved the contracts for rice imports.

India exports about 37% of its total Basmati rice to Iran. Of its total Export volume of 3.7 MT of Basmati rice it exports about 1.4 MT to Iran during FY 2013-14.

Due to carried over stock from previous fiscal year Iran may not import this much high export volume and the export volume for the FY 2015-16 would be around 9 lakhs MT.

Iran’s annual rice consumption of Basmati rice is estimated around 3 MT of which its local rice production is 2 MT and rest it imports from India.

An Official said that Iran and India has also agreed upon setting up of a referral lab in India in which the rice before exporting to the Iran would be tested for the detection of presence of arsenic level, pesticides residue. Any disputes over the pesticides presence would be resolved by the lab authority and their decision would be final.

Source said the Iranian authorities have been urging India’s rice exporter since January 2014 to prepare a well furnish document on good agricultural practice ISO22000, which deals with Food safety management and packaging protocols besides “non –genetically modified crops” certification.

Iran and India Rice Trade relationship became strong when India has launched a rupee settlement mechanism from April 2012 with Iran which ignored sanction from US and EU.As a part for the settlement of dues state owned UCO Bank has tied up with the Iranian lenders-Parsian, Pasargad, Saman and EN banks.

Recently a team of 20 members of Commerce Ministry visited Iran to discuss issues regarding concerning Basmati and explore the possibility of increasing buffalo meat and soyameal exports.

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