BAGHDAD: Iraqi Grains Company announced buying 100.000 tons of Thai, Argentine and Uruguay rice, according to its statement.The statement quoted Director General Hassan Ismael that the company bought 30.000 tons from Argentina, 30.000 tons from Uruguay and 40.000 from Thailand. Commodity trading firm Olam International will supply Iraq with the 40,000 tonnes of rice from Thailand.
This quantity is to supply the needs for food ration card for the coming period. The statement pointed out that the total need of Iraq of rice reaches to 107.000 tons monthly, to be supplied by imports.
Almost half a million metric tonnes of grain has arrived at Iran’s major food port and Turkish banks are being used by the Islamic Republic as an alternative trade financing route to sidestep Western sanctions, trade sources say.
Iran has been shopping for wheat at a frantic pace, ordering a large part of its expected yearly requirement in a little over one month and paying a premium in non-dollar currencies to work around toughened sanctions and avoid social unrest.
“With any number of unknowns out there – a potential attack on its nuclear facilities, the possibility that a different administration takes office in the United States, the regime is prudently laying aside (food) stocks in the event things go very wrong,” said J. Peter Pham, a director with U.S. think tank the Atlantic Council.
Food shipments are not targeted under western sanctions aimed at Iran’s disputed nuclear program, but financial measures have frozen Iranian firms out of much of the global banking system. State-run Government Trading Corporation (GTC) has stepped in to make recent purchases as private Iranian buyers have been sidelined.
“There is not a problem with payments, things are settling down using non-sanctioned banks,” one trade source said. “The GTC is using Turkish banks to make payments.”
Iran bought around 2 million tonnes of wheat just last month from Russia, Germany, Canada, Brazil and Australia.
yet, in official news….
Iran exported some 895,000 tons of food products worth $1.55 billion last year (ended March 19), said head of the board of directors of Iranian Food Science and Technology Association.
Mohammad Husseini said the figure shows the high potential of the country’s food industry, adding government’s supports can raise the figure to hit $5 billion.
He added domestic food industry has made significant progress during the recent years, IRNA reported on Saturday. The official said some $224 million of food products were exported in 2004 and the figure rose considerably during 2005-2011.
Husseini went on to say that some 14,000 food producing units are operating nationwide, of which only 10 percent are running at full capacity.
Based on the available statistics, some 50 percent of the food producing units are inactive in the country. In February, a report released by World Trade Organization said Iran exported some $4.7 billion worth of food products in 2010, showing a rise of 31.5 percent compared to the figure for 2009 which was $3.8 billion.
The value of agricultural commodities imported by Iran dropped from $10 billion in 2009 to $9.5 in 2010, it said. According to the report, main food products exported by Iran increased from $3.6 billion in 2009 to 4.7 billion in 2010, while the import of the said commodities decreased from $9.2 billion to $8.2 billion during the said period.
It added that the share of agricultural sector compared to the total goods imported increased from 9.5 percent in 2009 to 14.5 percent in 2010. Agricultural commodities made up some five percent of the total goods exported by Iran in 2010 while the figure for 2009 was 4.1 percent. About 4.7 percent of total goods exported in 2010 pertained to food products showing a significant increase compared to the figure for the preceding year which was 3.7 percent.
In 2010, the total value of agricultural crops exported stood at $1.362 trillion, 15 percent higher than the figure for the previous year.
Global food exports were valued at $910 billion in 2010.