U.S. Wheat Still Sought By Iran despite Sanctions

The state buyer of grain for Iran has been talking with different export houses with the goal of buying close to 110,000 tons of milling wheat that originated in the U.S., said traders. This is even as Europe and the U.S. imposed even tougher sanctions against Iran to stem the nuclear program of Tehran.

The wheat imports by Iran are usually handled by both the government and private sector. However, the government of Iran has taken on a larger role in the purchase of wheat over the last 12 months due to a disruption to the financing of the trades that was caused by the sanctions from the West that have been toughened. Those sanctions all target the disputed nuclear program in Iran.

Food shipments are not stopped by sanctions, but the sanctions make if much more difficult for importers in Iran to obtain the much needed letters of credit that finance the large purchases. The sanctions also make it next to impossible to conduct bank transfers internationally.

One trader commented that no sale confirmation has been given to anyone, but negotiations had taken place about shipping wheat in April. The Government Trading Corporation for Iran was negotiating the transfer of 110,000 tons of winter wheat into consignments of 55,000 tons each.

Another wheat trader said that the U.S. wheat is close to the cheapest available in the world. Because of that, the Iranians have been attracted and over 100,000 tons have been talked about over the past week.

Previously Iran made large U.S. wheat purchases in March of last year despite the tension politically.

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