Widespread of Coronavirus in Iran may further impact prices and demand of basmati rice. With 55 deaths and 975 reported coronavirus cases, Iran is on the verge of becoming the pandemic center of coronavirus outbreak. Grain industry globally slid due to coronavirus fears.
Coronavirus Widespread in Iran Impact on the Basmati Rice Industry
Accounting for over 30% of Indian basmati exports, Iran is the largest importer of basmati rice. With the rapidly spreading of the virus in the city of Qom, many gulf nations have stopped flights from and to Iran. As a result, basmati traders have expressed their concern over the issue. The virus has spread to other four cities including capital Tehran. Prices of basmati rice fell significantly by almost 3% on 22nd of February 2020 and since then the slide continued.
Doubts Among Basmati Rice and Tea Exporters
Vinod Kaul, executive director of All India Rice Exporters Association has asked the Indian embassy in Iran to clear their doubts regarding the coronavirus in Iran outbreak. Further, exporters are skeptical about the usage of Bandar Abbas port for the shipment of commodities to inland ports of other countries. Also, uncertainties about the outbreak in Iran have created disarray among Indian tea exporters. India exported 53.45 million kg of tea to Iran in 2019 as against 30.78 million kg in 2018.
Public Offices and Schools Closed
President Hassan Rouhani stated that the government has no plans to quarantine any district. However, people detected with the coronavirus will be quarantined to control the spread. Further, the president advised the nationals to avoid unnecessary travels and take necessary precautions.
Officials have banned some public offices and shut down schools to control the spread. In addition, the Tehran administration banned communal smoking in the city to eliminate the virus spreading. However, no shrine has been closed until now. Though the Iran officials told public not to worry, Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi himself tested positive for the coronavirus.
How the Coronavirus in Iran is dangerous?
Wars in Yemen, Afghanistan, and Syria have led millions of refugees to flee their homes for safer land, such as Iran. Qom, being the religious center of the entire country has millions of other crisscrossing every day. Moreover, Iraq, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Lebanon have reported Iran as the breeding ground for the virus.
In conclusion, the Iranian government needs to tackle the coronavirus spread immediately and quarantine areas with high concentration of virus. Basmati Rice prices may further fall if the coronavirus further expands in Iran.