Iranian Customs Administration announced that Iran imported some 897,000 tons of rice, valued at 884 million U.S. dollars during the first nine months of the current Iranian calendar year, which began on March 20, 2012, Tehran Times daily reported on Monday.
Compared to the same period of last year, the figures showed a 18.8 percent increase in terms of value and 3.3 percent rise in terms of volume, said the report.
India, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Pakistan were the main exporters of rice to Iran. Also, China, Austria, Thailand, Turkey, Singapore, Oman, and Russia were the other sources of rice exports to Iran.
Annual rice consumption in Iran stands at around 2.8 million tons, Mehdi Kabuli, an official from Agricultural Jihad Ministry said.
Iran plans to increase the yield of rice to keep its import less than 500,000 tons, Kabuli was quoted as saying.