Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - Call to liberalize cotton trade in Iran - Call to liberalize cotton trade in Iran: "Call to liberalize cotton trade in Iran

Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - ©2005
LONDON, Jan 26 (IranMania) - A senior agriculture official on Tuesday called for relaxing cotton import and export, stressing that fixed subsidies would not help efforts to boost cotton exports given the fluctuations in the international prices.

Nasrin Yazdani, director general of the Ministry of Agriculture Jihad for cotton and oil seeds affairs, told ILNA that the drop in international prices of the product has made cotton exports increasingly uneconomical.

She called on the government to allocate floating export subsidies to the sector. "Cotton prices are set by Liverpool's Cotton Exchange and low subsidies promised by the government could not improve cotton exports from Iran," she said, expressing hope that the national cotton industry would be able to reduce the oversupply by exporting a portion of stockpiled cotton.

Last week, Commerce Minister Mohammad Shariatmadari rejected reports that cotton imports have been halted, stressing that the product will continue to be imported.

"Halting cotton imports would need cabinet approval," he said, admitting, however, that the likelihood of oversupply remains high.

The Minister said there is 1.5 mln tons of surplus cotton in the world, adding that tariff mechanisms must be employed to overcome the problem.

Shariatmadari said the government has paid 40% of the rls 1 tri (nearly$114 mln) of subsidies for exports to the textile industry, stressing that the 20% rise in cotton production is the result of the government's supportive policies."


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