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Iran to export wheat for first time

26 October 2015 7:48


Iran will export wheat for the first time after wrapping up guaranteed purchases of the strategic crop from local farmers for the current harvest year, a senior official says.

The State Trading Corporation of Iran (STC) plans to put out 400,000 metric tons of durum wheat for exports, STC Managing Director Ali Qanbari said.

The government bought 8.08 million metric tons of wheat from Iranian farmers this year, which is enough to meet local demand amid sufficient stocks from previous years.

“Despite lower precipitations this year, about 1.4 millions tons of more wheat was purchased in the country compared with last year,” said Qanbari, who is also deputy agriculture minister.

“In view of the existing strategic reserves of the commodity, we will not need to import wheat for supplies of the flour needed by our bakers,” he added.

Earlier this month, a report said Iran’s state grains agency had offered to barter about 200,000 metric tons of locally-produced durum wheat with 250,000 tons of milling wheat.

Durum or macaroni wheat — basically used for pasta-making — is the hardest of all wheats, which is widely cultivated across the world.

In June, Qanbari said Iran would need 9 million metric tons of bread-making wheat and another 2 million metric tons for pasta-making in the current fiscal year.

The Iranian government slapped import duties on wheat and animal feed barely in order to discourage purchases from abroad.

Iran has turned into a major wheat importer over the past decade after seeing its population grow to over 80 million and a lingering drought sharply reducing harvest.

The country’s self-sufficiency drive for wheat production is on the rocks amid the drought, which is putting strains on water reserves.

Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Germany, Australia and Canada are the countries from which Iran usually buys wheat.

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