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After decades, Iran sells small bit of caviar to US.

For the first time in about a quarter-century, Iran has exported caviar to the United States--but it was a puny amount, only 10 kilograms (22 lbs), worth a mere $13,000 over all of the last Persian year.

The Fars news agency calculated that this was how much Iran earned from oil and gas exports in about 12 seconds and would not resuscitate Iran's economy!

Abbas Rajai, who is the CEO of the Agriculture Services Specialized Holding Company, said the company received a license for caviar sales from the US Department of Agriculture in 2016 after the nuclear agreement went into effect. But no sales were made until 2017.

Caviar sales from Caspian sturgeon were banned several years ago as the number of sturgeon in the Caspian plummeted. Iran saw that coming and has promoted sturgeon farms along the coast of the Caspian, which are now producing fish roe (caviar) for export.

The latest statistics released by the Iran Customs Administration show a total of 557 kilograms of farmed caviar worth $1.37 million were exported from Iran during the seven months to Oct. 22, 2017, registering a 9 decline in weight and 6.6 percent decline in value respectively compared with the same period of last year.

The main export destinations for Iranian caviar during the seven-month period were Germany, Italy, the US (with 4 percent of Iran's exports), Belgium, France, the United Kingdom, the UAE, Hong Kong, Spain, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Denmark, Canada and Kuwait.

Hassan Salehi, the head of Iran's Fisheries Organization, said 2 tons of farmed caviar were produced in Iran in the last Persian year, with the figure expected to exceed 3 tons this year.

That's a far cry from the last century when Iran normally produced a few hundred tons of caviar every year.

Rajai said the price of caviar from non-Caspian wild sturgeon ranged from $1,700 to $2,600 per kilo, depending on the type, while the price of caviar from farmed fish ranges from $750 to $1,400 per kilo.

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Publication:Iran Times International (Washington, DC)
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 9, 2018
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