November 12, 2008

Global companies seek US$5 million demurrage on wheat sales to India


Global trading companies are seeking claims valued at about INR237 million ($5 million) from the Indian government for demurrage-related expenses incurred for wheat imports from August 2006 to January 2008, an industry official said Tuesday (November 11).


"We have filed the demurrage claim under the tender norms," said an official working with one of the global trading companies, which supplied wheat.


India imported around 7.5 million tonnes wheat between August 2006 and January 2008. The demurrage claims were raised on some of the consignments as inadequate storage capacity and congestion at ports resulted in a delay in unloading, the industry official said.


"The demurrage claims by the suppliers are being handled by State Trading Corporation and Food Corporation of India," said a commerce ministry official.


State-run STC imported wheat for the federal government and transferred it to FCI, the custodian of the country's grain stocks.


Global trading firms whose demurrage claims are yet to be settled are Concordia, Glencore, Cargill and Agrico. AWB Ltd.'s (AWB.AU) claim was settled last month and Toepfer's last year.


India last floated a wheat import tender in December, and has stopped imports since then following a record local harvest of 78.4 million tonnes in 2007-08, 3.4 percent higher than the previous year.

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