Iran normally produces 250,000 tons of pistachio per year, said an Iranian MP.
Ahmad Anaraki Mohammadi, the representative of Rafsanjan and Anar cities — central Iranian province of Kerman — in the Parliament told Iran Daily this is due to temperature fluctuations in Iran during the past few months which has led to decreased production since March 20, 2018.
Despite reduced output of the product in different parts of Iran, pistachio exports in the current fiscal year (to end March 20, 2019) has been highly favorable, he added.
Mohammadi noted that the recent hikes in foreign currency prices in domestic market has made overseas sales of the product highly economical.
More than 95 percent of Iran's annual pistachio output is exported, he added.
The MP said Rafsanjan is capital of pistachio production in Iran and the world, adding the city ranks first in the country in terms of having the largest amount of pistachio production and exports.
He described the Rafsanjan's pistachio as one the best in the world quality-wise.
"Being home to more than 90,000 hectares of unpartitioned pistachio gardens, the world's largest manmade forest is currently located in the city which has been created in dry land with low precipitation."
He put the share of Kerman Province in the country's total pistachio production at 50 percent, adding more than 40 percent of the province's pistachio orchards are located in Rafsanjan.
"Anar and Rafsanjan cities together produce a total of 70,000 tons of pistachio. This year, the figure has dropped to 10,000 tons."
In addition to Kerman, pistachio is produced in 27 other Iranian provinces, said the lawmaker.
He listed Iranian pistachio's main export destination as China, European countries, the Persian Gulf littoral states and neighboring nations such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Turkey.
Warning against exporting pistachio in bulk and without appropriate packaging, he called for exporting processed pistachio in small elegant packages which will create greater value-added.
"Over the past few years, greater attention has been paid to the product's packaging. That is why more markets have recently opened up to Iranian pistachio."
He said the US is Iran's traditional rival in the global pistachio market. "Their pistachio production has neared 250,000 tons in the past few years."
Despite higher US pistachio production, significant investment in the field and use of modern cultivation and harvesting methods and techniques in production, Iran's pistachio has still maintained its own customers in the world due to its exceptional quality.