November 25, 2004



Iraq Trade Ministry Sets Prices to Buy Wheat from Farmers


The Iraqi Trade Ministry has set prices for purchasing wheat from private farmers for next year's harvest, according to a source at the ministry.


The source said the ministry set two price categories: 200,000 Iraqi dinars, ($1=IQD1,461.20), for a metric ton of first grade wheat with only 1% of impurities, $43 less than the price last year; and IQD180,000/ton of second grade wheat with 2% of impurities, $53 less than the price last year.


"The Iraqi Grain Board urged farmers to grow wheat as it is one of the basic items of the food basket that the government distributes to each Iraqi every month," the source said.


Iraq has been buying wheat and barley from farmers over the last few years to encourage local farmers to grow these two strategic commodities.


Iraq produces between 750,000 and 1 million tons of wheat a year and needs to import around 2.5 million tons of wheat every year. But it needs to import 3 million tons of wheat for 2005 because of a poor harvest in 2004.


In its most recent tender issued earlier this month, the Iraqi Grain Board wanted to buy 100,000-150,000 tons of US hard red winter wheat for December-January delivery.


Last month Iraq bought 1 million tons of new crop hard milling wheat from the Australian exporter AWB Ltd. for delivery over the next six months.