ANNOUNCEMENT 01 May 2009In May 2009, the government of Iraq announced an alteration to its export prohibitions.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
No confirmation on paper from official sources was found. Instead numerous news articles were found and checked for consistency. The most helpful articles can be found at the following URLs:
Iraq is reported to have placed a temporary ban on vegetable imports from countries including Turkey, Iran and Syria. 'The ban began on May 1,' Subhi al-Jumaily, a senior deputy agriculture minister said in one newspaper interview. The minister stated that the ban would be in effect whenever the supply from domestic sources is sufficient. "We don't want to shut off imports completely but want to arrange them through official agreements for all different food items," he said.
At present, according to one local academic, Iraq imports between 90 and 94 percent of its food and between 60 and 70 percent of its vegetables. For the year to date, imports of vegetables are reported to have totalled in value US$5.5 billion from Turkey, US$3.5 billion from Iran, US$3 billion from Syria. Other importers include Jordan and China.
On 8 June 2009 a senior official at the Iraqi Ministry of Agriculuture was reported to have said the ban was successful, in part because the prices of vegetables was stable.
These developments appear not to have gone unnoticed in trading partners. The Jordanian Minister of Agriculture sought special permits from his Iraqi counterpart for Jordan's produce to be exported to Iraqi. Mr. Masri, the Jordanian Minister, was reported to have said ""The Iraqi side agreed to allow Jordanian fruit exports into Iraq provided that they are loaded on the border onto Iraqi trucks under limited permits."