Private companies may start importing sugar in to Iran, ending a state monopoly, the government said. The government had imposed a monopoly on importing and distributing sugar, which it sold at subsidised rates as part of a strategy to protect low-income earners, reported Reuters. Iran imports large volumes of sugar because the country itself produces very little. Production is forecast at less than half of consumption this year at just 1.1 million tonnes. This is blamed on a lack of interest from the private sector due to the low profits achieved in the industry.