Exporting Iran saffron to European Countries
10/10/2023

Saffron export statistics, export potential vs. real data and export flow to European destinations

In line with previous posts to analyze the Iranian saffron export market to Asian countries, we intend to analyze Iranian export to European countries, from real export volume and their saffron potential export. In the Iranian saffron export to Asian analysis, we saw how trading restrictions with some countries such as China and India can influence the published data by the International Trade Center. Plus, the indirect saffron export, using middle countries such as Afghanistan and UAE, has changed trade procedures and statistics in Iran’s saffron industry. Among European countries, which demand higher level standards compared to other Iran saffron customers, countries such as Germany, Italy, and Spain are the main European destinations for Iran saffron, yet it has reported unrealized potential in these markets. European countries do not produce saffron on great scales; however, they have a good share of income in the saffron value chain by importing bulk saffron from Iran, then packaging, and re-distribution it in their sales network around the world. Reading the rest of the post, you will gain a clear insight into Iran’s saffron export to European countries.


It is worth noting that as there are fewer trading restrictions between Iran and European countries, except for money transfer issues, usually saffron is exported directly. Consequently, the data published in intracen.org are near to real statistics.

Exporting Iran saffron to Spain

Exporting Iran saffron to Spain

Taking a look at the charts, you can see that Intracen considers 39 million dollars (nearly 40 tons of saffron) for Spain. According to real export statistics, less than 10 percent of this potential is still unrealized. This statistic refers to Iran’s bulk saffron export, and considering their competent capability in the retail industry, and their special position in retail sales to other European and American countries, few Spanish buyers are willing to buy saffron in retail packages from Iran. As a result of this, Iran’s share of the global market in the saffron industry remains steady, while Spain’s share of the market is near six times more than Iran’s.

Exporting Iran saffron to Italy

Exporting Iran saffron to Italy

Italy is considered the second major European buyer. According to Intracen statistics, Italy’s saffron export potential is approximately 1/10 of the Spanish market (nearly 3.5 million equals 4 tons of saffron). However, our research shows that Italian companies are building the required long-term infrastructure to introduce this product, under Italian branding. Considering the published data in this report, which probably refers to 2-3 years ago, it should be analyzed how the Iranian saffron export potential to this country has changed for 2023-2024 year. Yet, according to this report and statistics, more than 90% of this market potential has been addressed by Iranian companies.

Exporting Iran saffron to France

Exporting Iran saffron to France

Based on Intracen analysis, France, as the third European destination, has 1/3 of Italy’s export potential (nearly 1.1 million dollars), while the trade statistics show that 2.5 million dollars, nearly 2.5 to 3 tons of saffron, is exported to this country. This figure is twice the estimated export potential. This discrepancy rate can occur due to France’s geographical position considering other countries such as Portugal, the UK, or the Netherlands in terms of access to final markets.

Exporting Iran saffron to Germany

Exporting Iran saffron to Germany

Germany as a pioneer country in terms of organic and herbal production, is one of the main customers of Iran’s medicinal herbs. Saffron, as one of the most valuable medicinal herbs and spices, with various medicinal, food, and health benefits, is known as one of the main agricultural products that is imported to Germany. According to the latest Intracen report, Iranian saffron export potential to this country is 3 million dollars, which increases every year. According to this report, the nearly 2.3-million-dollar (equals 2.5 tons of saffron) Iran saffron is exported to Germany. Considering this three-million-dollar potential we can assume a good prospective for sales and marketing of Iranian saffron in this country.

Final Thoughts

As mentioned in the introduction, European markets, as mature markets with customers who are always seeking premium, high-quality products, have been looking for healthy and organic products. The demand for healthy and organic products has become a new trend in all markets. Iranian companies, considering the good opportunities in the production of high-quality saffron in Iran, and with respect to the high production rate in our country, we can achieve a good share of European markets.

SunLand, as a producer, processor, and exporter of saffron has tried to export products according to standards accepted by customers in Spain, Germany, France, and Switzerland. Plus, SunLand has registered trademarks in more than 34 countries, especially in the EU, we are planning to start the marketing and saffron retailing and branding in these countries. 

As we are getting closer to new-year harvest time in Iran, we are ready to accept saffron orders from all over the world. 

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