HAMBURG, May 19 (Reuters) - Iraq's state grains buyer
remains in talks about buying around 100,000 tonnes of rice to
be sourced from the United States, with no purchase yet made,
European traders said on Friday.
Offers were submitted on May 15 and must remain valid until
May 21, they said. [nL8N1ID372]
Traders said the trade ministry in Iraq, a major global
buyer of wheat and rice, had sent out price inquiries to trading
houses about buying the rice rather than issuing a formal
Only two offers were made for nearby prompt shipment, they
One U.S.-based multinational trading house offered $587 c&f
for 100,000 tonnes and a Middle Eastern trading company offered
40,000 to 60,000 at $595 a tonne c&f.
"Iraq normally says a minimum of three offers should be made
for grains and rice purchases so a cancellation is expected, but
it is not clear if this is a formal tender," one European trader
said. "The rather tight supplies of U.S. rice available for
shipment up to the end of June make this sale anyway difficult
Iraq's cabinet authorised the trade ministry on May 9 to
make direct purchases of wheat and rice to guarantee food
Baghdad has been struggling to import grains and rice for
its food subsidy programme after introducing new payment and
quality terms which left trading houses unwilling to participate
in its international tenders.
Iraq told suppliers earlier this year it would pay for its
grain in instalments. Traders said they were informed by Iraq's
Grain Board that low oil prices and other financial factors were
forcing the country to delay payments.
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