The Iraqi Trade Ministry is looking to approve Russian wheat imports in its tenders and said it will send a delegation to Russia, it said in an official announcement.
The delegation will inspect Russia’s wheat quality and production and logistics to understand the suitability of Russian wheat for its tenders.
“The ministry will send a delegation to Russia, to study the mechanisms of wheat production and visit the processing plants, for the purpose of drawing a picture of the quality and the suitability for processing within the subsidy card system," Minister of Commerce, Mohammad Hashim al-Ani, said, following a meeting with Russia’s ambassador to Iraq, Maxim Maximov.
The Russian aAmbassador noted that the Russian government encourages domestic companies to enter the Iraqi market and said there is a desire to enhance relations between the two.
Iraq’s domestic wheat production has been unable to keep up with a rise in feed demand from its growing livestock industry, which took imports in 2017 up to 2.9 million mt, USDA data showed.
More recently, Iraq’s wheat crop was hit by drought this season, cutting its soft wheat output by 27% to 2.2 million mt – its lowest production since 2009 – according to a note from Iraq’s Central Bureau of Statistics (CSO) in October.
The bulk of Iraqi wheat imports come from Australia and the US, but Canadian wheat is also allowed to enter its state tenders.
Russia wheat output has boomed over the past years, which has introduced strong competition for other major exporters.
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