Iraq has reportedly bought 450,000 tons of U.S. hard red winter wheat outside the tender process. Traders said the shipment would be within the next three months.
Iraq has purchased U.S. wheat in a direct deal, outside the tender process, Reuters reported. The wheat was purchased from Cargill and ADM, two Iraqi officials said. The officials would not confirm the quantity of hard red winter wheat purchased but traders said that Cargill sold a total of 300,000 tons while ADM sold 150,000 tons. “The direct purchase of wheat helps us get better prices and to quickly boost the country’s wheat reserves,” a trade ministry advisor told Reuters on condition of anonymity. Traders said the shipment would be within the next three months. Iraq’s cabinet in May authorised the ministry of trade to make direct purchases of wheat and rice to guarantee food security. The Middle East buyer had been struggling to import the grains for its food subsidy programme after introducing new payment and quality terms that kept traders away from its international tenders earlier this year.
According to a Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report issued Oct. 10 by the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Iraq’s wheat production for the 2017-18 marketing year (MY) will decline due to unfavorable weather conditions, lower wheat procurement prices, and the ongoing sectarian conflict. Wheat production for MY 2017/18 is forecast at 4.0 million metric tons (MMT), a five percent decrease from the revised MY 2016/17 production estimate of 4.2 million metric tons. Wheat consumption is forecast to increase to 6.825 MMT in MY 2017/18 based primarily on expected increased feed wheat use