January 9, 2008


Iraq plans to buy 4.5 million tonnes of wheat in 2008


The Iraqi government is planning to buy up to 4.5 million  tonnes of wheat and 1.5 million tonnes of rice in 2008, a spokesman for the ministry of trade said on Tuesday (January 8, 2008).


Mohammed Hannon told Dow Jones Newswires that out of the 4.5 million tonnes that Iraq is planning to import in 2008, one million tonnes would be untouched as a "strategic stock".


He said in 2007, Iraq contracted to buy some 3 million tonnes of wheat but received only 2.5 million tonnes. Iraq's 2007 wheat purchases were mainly from the US and Canada, he added.


In 2008, Iraq wants to buy from Australia, which was Iraq's major supplier of wheat for decades until 2004. The US and Canada are currently the biggest suppliers. "We want to buy wheat from Australia as Iraqis prefer the quality of Australian wheat," Hannon said.


Iraq is also intending to buy 1.5 million tonnes of rice from Thailand, Vietnam and the US, he added. Iraq purchased some 1.5 million tonnes of rice from these countries in 2007.