Iran is reportedly already negotiating with a number of countries, offering its ‘halal’ poultry.
Iranian poultry companies have started supplying halal poultry products to Oman, according to the secretary general of the joint Iran-Oman Chamber of Commerce Ahmed Shirzadiyan.
He said the first deliveries were made in during Ramadan, which started on 18 June. The deal appears to be very important to Iran which plans to explore the potential for poultry exports in the years ahead.
“Until now the major supplier of chicken meat to Oman was Brazil,” added Shirzadiyan. “However, we began to supply Iranian chicken labelled ‘halal’ and Omanis are very sensitive to food with such markings. So if the export of Iranian chickens to this country continues, Iran will be able to gain a strong position in the Omani market. In addition, Iran recently launched exports of eggs to Oman.”
'Large livestock farms'
He revealed that a number of Omani companies have expressed an interest in investing in new livestock production facilities in Iran. “Tentative steps have already been taken in this direction and it has been decided that Omani investors could participate in the construction of several large livestock farms in Iran,” he said.
Iran could supply Oman with 5,000 tonnes (t) of poultry meat this year, with the potential to triple this figure in 2016. Industry observers have noted that this might affect supplies of Brazilian chicken, as Oman remains a crucial market for Brazil exporters to the Middle East.
During January-May 2015 Brazil supplied Oman with 27,604t of chicken, according to data from the Brazilian Animal Protein Association (ABPA).
Tenfold increase in exports
Meanwhile, Iran’s poultry export ambitions are not limited to Oman, as the country is looking to become the largest poultry exporter among Muslim countries within the next five to seven years.
According to Habib Amini, director of the department for poultry and beekeeping at the Ministry of Jihad-e-Agriculture, Iran is targeting poultry exports of 1 million tonnes (mt) in the foreseeable future, although the country only exported around 120,000t of poultry in 2014.
“Iran currently produces about 2mt of table poultry per year. In addition, the country produces 900,000t-950,000t of eggs per year, and this figure could be increased to 1mt,” he said.
Representatives of the Ministry of Jihad-e-Agriculture believe the country has a good chance of increasing poultry production and exports following the recent agreement over the Iranian nuclear program, which should stimulate an inflow of currency to the country and improve trade relationships with a number of countries.
“At present, the main importers of Iranian chicken are Iraq and Saudi Arabia and, due to the proximity of these countries, Iran should continue to focus on these markets,” said Amini. “One important competitive advantage for our producers is that our processing plants are able to export chicken meat in any form, in a variety of pack sizes.”