Iraq delegation to visit Russia in Dec for talks on wheat imports

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Iraq will send a delegation to Russia in December to discuss the possibility of importing wheat, the Iraqi trade minister said on Wednesday.

Newly appointed Hashim al-Aani had said on Tuesday that Iraq, traditionally reliant on U.S. wheat imports, was interested in opening up its international state buying tenders to Russian wheat suppliers.

The minister also said Iraq had a three-month strategic reserve of grains. His deputy Walid al-Helw said local procurement of wheat from Iraq farmers for the coming season was expected to total 2 million tonnes.

Iraq needs an annual wheat supply of between 4.5 million and five million tonnes. The local procurement figure implies an import gap of around two million tonnes a year.

BAGHDAD (Reuters)

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