An Iranian baker shows a traditional bread, known locally as “Barbari”, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in Tehran, June 22, 2016. (AFP)

January 25, 2021

According to Iranian state media outlets, the price of bread and eggs have practically increased despite officials’ claims. On January 23, Vatan-e Emrouz daily acknowledged that the price of eggs has been raised in the past month and each egg box—containing 30 eggs— has reached 550,000 rials [$2.20] and each egg is sold for between 17,000 to 20,000 rials [$0.07 to 0.08].

A day earlier, Kayhan daily also reported that even though the price of bread had yet to increase and there is no official permission on behalf of relevant authorities, but bakeries are selling 8,500-rial [$0.03] Taftoon bread for 10,000 rials [$0.04] and 20,000-rial [$0.08] Sangak bread for 25,000 to 30,000 rials [$0.1 to 0.12].

This is while the poverty line has reached 100 million rials [$400] and based on the best estimations, more than 60 million of Iran’s population—approximately 80 percent—live below the poverty line.

In an interview with Fars news agency, affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), chief of the Traditional Bakers Association Bizhan Nowruz Moghaddam justified this issue. “Currently, private bakeries receive half-subsidized flour, which compels them not to observe approved price. They have practically been semi-public bakeries,” he said on January 22.

“The price that was approved and announced in September 2019 does not cover bakers’ expenditures due to the increase in inflation rate and the increase in prices of all other goods,” said Nowruz Moghaddam, adding, “Of course, last year’s enactment had declared that the price is the criterion for action as long as the production costs do not increase. Therefore, bakeries did not act illegally.”

On the other hand, despite a surplus of egg production in the country, egg prices have dramatically increased in recent months. This is while officials frequently speak about a decrease in prices, according to Khabarban website on January 22.

Furthermore, Mashreq website reported a rampant increase in the price of eggs during the past month. “It is around one month that the egg price has been immeasurably raised, and the price of each egg box has reached 450,000 rials [$1.80] and each egg is traded at between 15,000 to 20,000 rials [$0.06 to 0.08]. Despite officials’ promises about a decrease in prices, the prices have yet to change,” the website wrote.

This is while the government claims that the country annually produces about five million tons of eggs. Last week, in his first press conference, the Spokesperson of Agriculture Ministry Mohammad Mehdi Boroumand announced, “Egg production in the country is at more than one million tons, and it is forecasted that this amount will increase this year.”

However, many citizens are deprived of this essential good, which is known as the pauper’s meal among Iranian families. Meanwhile, the price of other protein products like red meat, chicken meat, and dairy items have continuously increased in recent months.

In such circumstances, the government exports eggs to neighboring countries, including Iraq and Afghanistan while many people struggle hard to fill their food basket with this basic good. The high prices and scarcity of essential goods and necessities are a direct outcome of officials’ mismanagement or a specified plan.

Previously, government-backed companies and institutions kept poultry feed in ports to balance the chicken price. In April 2020, poultry farmers were compelled to eliminate around 16 million single-day chicks due to a lack of feed. At the time, high-ranking officials interfered to ease public hatred.

However, not only did the price of chicken not decline but also the high prices expanded to almost all essential supplies and foodstuffs. Now, it seems that Iranian officials plan to starve citizens and take away their morale for objecting to the political system.

Iran Focus

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.