Close to 15,000 tons of butter worth close to 2.34 trillion rials ($72 million) were imported into Iran during the five months to Aug. 22, figures released by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration say.
The UAE, New Zealand, Turkey, the Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, Uruguay and Belgium were the main countries from where butter was imported over the five-month period, Young Journalists Club reported.
According to Secretary of Iran’s Dairy Industries Society Reza Bakeri, Iran’s annual butter consumption currently stands at 45,000-50,000 tons.
Close to 90% of domestic demand for the dairy product are met via imports, as domestic production has a small share. The big part of imported butter is consumed at breakfast and a small share is used for industrial purposes.
Deputy Agriculture Minister Hassan Rokni said the government plans to become self-sufficient in butter production within the next 10 years through selective livestock breeding for increasing the fat content of milk.
Iran’s first-ever lactic butter production line with a production capacity of 7,000 tons a year was launched in Tehran in May.
Lactic butter is made from whole milk that has been fermented with lactic acid. It has a low moisture content and strong flavor.