The first quarter of the current fiscal year (March 21-June 2) saw cigarette production rise by 60%, imports fall by 75% and smuggling decline by 48% compared to last year’s corresponding period, the head of Tobacco Planning and Supervision Center said.
“Iran’s 12 cigarette factories produced 11 billion cigarettes in Q1, up 60% year-on-year. Imports of 700 million cigarettes in the three-month period show a 75% decrease over last year’s first quarter,” Ali Asghar Ramzi was also quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.
The official put Q1 smuggled cigarettes into the country at 2.15 billion, 48% fewer than last year’s corresponding period.
“Cigarette imports reduced to 4 billion last year (March 2016-17) compared with 16.4 billion in the fiscal 2015-16—thanks to bringing additional production capacity on stream. Imports are predicted to be cut by 50% in the current Iranian year (March 2017-18) over last year to reach 2 billion,” he said.
Last year’s domestic production of cigarettes hit 45 billion, close to 15 billion more than the year before.
Ramzi noted that plans are underway to increase the local production of cigarettes to 50 billion this year, which is 5 billion fewer than Iran’s annual consumption.