US pistachio growers worry about competition from Iran

Indications are growing in the United States that pistachio growers are becoming worried over what many see as an impending intense competition with their Iranian rivals.

The NPR said in a report that the return of Iranian pistachio will specifically raise the stakes for American growers given that their yield this year has already been halved as a result of a lack of water and warm temperatures.

Many producers are worried that the Iranian pistachio will be a threat to the American growers not only in the domestic market, but also in the overseas markets.

Nevertheless, the fact that the US has implemented a hefty tariff of 300 percent on Iranian pistachios is already believed to have made competition for Iranian growers harder.

But this tariff may not be in place forever. This is because some are speculation that Iranian farmers will likely try to prove they are not subsidized by their government as soon as this summer, in a meeting with the US International Trade Commission, in an attempt which will be meant to reduce the tariff.

Iranian officials said last April that the country had ousted the as the leading producer of pistachio nuts and reclaimed the position which it has long held to its credit.

Production of the nut surpassed 235,000 tons thanks to satisfactory precipitations and Iran’s implementation of development measures for better yield, an official with the agriculture ministry, Ali Mohseni said.

Iran outpaced the United States as the top producer after unofficial figures of 240,000 tons of pistachio crop in the US for 2014 were brushed aside by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Mohseni said.

Iran is the top pistachio exporter, a position the country has strongly maintained, thanks to the premium quality of its produce.

Iran exported 180,262 tons of the nut worth $1.62 billion in 2014. Those exports marked a 50% rise both in terms of volume and value.

Iran also has the largest acreage of land dedicated to pistachio plantation, spread over more than 20 provinces in the country.