24th International Agricultural Trade Fair, Iran proves largely unproductive for Indian basmati businesses. The Agricultural event within Iran agrofood 2017, organised by the German trade show specialists fairtrade and their Iranian partners Palar Samaneh was scheduled for 23 to 26 May 2017 at the Tehran International Fairgrounds. As in the past, it took place with the official support of the Iranian Ministry of Agriculture Jihad, the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade, the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran TPO and the Iran International Exhibitions Co. IIEC. This time round the response it evoked in terms of business and visitors was very lukewarm according to basmati exporters who took part in it. Iran which is India’s largest buyer of Basmati rice has been in news mostly for wrong reasons. Be it the issue of payments of Indian sellers or putting a cap on the import prices of Basmati rice at USD 850/MT, it has been blow hot blow cold tryst with Indian rice businessmen. The Indian government had also sent a trade delegation to Iran in January 2017 to resolve these issues. Moreover in another adverse development for the industry, the US recently imposed fresh trade sanctions on Iran, which restrains Iran’s use of the US dollar for trade. These two developments had created uncertainty around the resumption of Basmati rice exports to Iran.
Many prominent Indian rice exporters participated in the 24th International Agricultural Trade Fair concluded recently. Bharat Industrial Enterprise Ltd. (BIEL), a renowned rice export firm of Taraori, Karnal, was among them which participated in the fair to showcase its finesse of basmati rice to the world. Mr. Mohit Gupta, Director of Bharat Industrial Enterprise Ltd., while interacting with Riceoutlook after coming back from the show said, “There was lot of hope for robust business, pinned on this Trade Fair which unfortunately didn’t materialize.” He further added, “The enthusiasm associated with a world class show was missing with the visitors meagre and business deals few.” “Overall this time round, the show was very lack luster and below our expectations,” he concluded. The other participants also aired the similar views.