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Lieutenant General (سپهبد)
UPDATE 3-Iran buys US wheat despite nuclear tensions



By Emily Stephenson

WASHINGTON, March 1 (Reuters) - Iran has made a rare purchase of U.S. wheat as it tries to build its food stockpiles amid tougher sanctions imposed by the United States and Europe.

The U.S. Agriculture Department reported on Thursday that Iran bought 120,000 tonnes of U.S. wheat -- enough to fill two large cargo ships.

While not illegal, the deal caught traders by surprise as tensions mount between the West and Iran on concerns the Islamic Republic was intent on developing a nuclear weapon.

"It shocked me," said Jerod Leman, a broker with Wellington Commodities Corp. "With everything going on over there with their nuclear problems, I am surprised we sold them anything."

In the last month, Iran has bought or tried to buy nearly 3 million tonnes of wheat as Tehran fears sanctions will eventually disrupt food imports and bread shortages could cause food riots.

Iran has asked to import a million tonnes of wheat from Pakistan in a barter deal and also approached India. The Islamic Republic has also bought nearly 2 million tonnes in February from Russia, Germany, Canada, Brazil and Australia.

"It's a sign that they really need wheat," said a trader from Louis Dreyfus.

FIRST SALE TO IRAN SINCE 2009

Iran last purchased U.S. wheat in 2009 but Thursday's sale would be the largest U.S. wheat sale to the country since August 2008, a year when severe drought halved the country's domestic crop and triggered record imports, according to USDA data.

Any sale of grain to Iran requires Treasury Department approval, said USDA spokeswoman Sally Klusaritz.

It was not immediately clear who made the sale or whether the Treasury Department approved the deal before it was announced by USDA. It was also not clear how the deal would be financed as sanctions by the West have hampered Iran's ability to pay for key imports.

The hard red winter wheat was sold for delivery by May 31, USDA said. That variety of wheat for export from the U.S. Gulf Coast costs more than $300 per tonne, before freight costs to the Middle East add another $75 per tonne, according to Reuters and industry data.

The wheat is worth at least $46 million and probably much more due to the risk premiums companies normally charge Iran.

News of the sale helped wheat futures on the Chicago Board of Trade erase early losses and head higher by midday.

The United States has imposed sanctions targeting Iran's oil trade and central bank payments to put pressure on Tehran to end its nuclear ambitions. Iran maintains the program is for peaceful purposes.

The sanctions are squeezing Iran's oil exports even before they go into effect in June, a U.S. advisory body said in a report released on Wednesday.

Cargill, the U.S. agribusiness giant, said in early February that it was still shipping grain to Iran despite signs Iran was struggling to process payments.

By law, exporters must report promptly to USDA the sale of 100,000 tonnes or more of a commodity to the same destination in one day. Sales of smaller amounts are reported on a weekly basis.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/01/usa-iran-wheat-idUSL2E8E13RZ20120301
Last Edit: March 01, 2012, 07:28:20 PM by Catsoo

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There is always a bigger fish!
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de
Major (سرگرد)
Uuuuuhhh, thats not good! Take care Iranians! Gen-food and full of pesticides  :(
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Me like this statement

http://www.iranmilitaryforum.net/index.php?topic=19216.msg171013.#msg171013

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Master Sergeant (گروهبان)
Uuuuuhhh, thats not good! Take care Iranians! Gen-food and full of pesticides  :(

Yes. This food is dangerous long-term. But i dont believe this report is true. 2011 was a great year for Iran for agriculture output as well. Why would they need to worry about lack of food in 2012?

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ir
Major (سرگرد)
Here's my twisted (and not necessarily correct) logic:  This wheat order accomplishes a few things:

- sends a message to opponents that Iran is on a war footing and preparing for a war economy and is ready to go there.
- also sends a message to the large US agri business that they can be customers and US policies are in the way.

Twisted, but fun!

Mamdali
(Note:  I hope I'm being redundant by saying that given the state of misinformation and factless and unsupported content that is rife on the 'internet' today, naturally, I cannot endorse, believe, support, or accept any of links posted by me or others.  I personally find them interesting, however, as they open new perspectives for me.  I leave it to the reader to glean what they can or want from them).

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lt
Private 1st Class (سرباز یكم)
Why would they need to worry about lack of food in 2012?

Preparation for war, if it happens - everything would be disrupted. If it doesnt happen - grains would be put to good use, no loss. Its a smart move to stock essential foods and other things.

Also its not 3 millions tons, its 6 millions tons being bought as we speak. 3 mln. from India, 1 mln. from Pakistan, and 2 mln. from various countries.

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zw
Major (سرگرد)
I don't know about the rest of Iran, but in the region where I am from a lot of the arable land has been/ is being built houses upon. Housing is of course a need that needs to be met, but it seems that the rapid development is not thoroughly thought through. The Mehr project is one such case which, while addressing one issue, will cause other problems due to lack of  planing and foresight.

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ve
Private (E-2) (سرباز دوم)
1) War preparation (going on for 30 years, so why stop now?!)

2) Maybe some intended for Syria?

3) If low grade, livestock fodder instead of corn?

4) not as handy as gold, but definitely a "bull" commodity as a hedge against fiat money
http://demagocracy.livejournal.com
http://asymmetronix.livejournal.com

"Bunker"Bill, aka the "Member Formerly Known as Parthenon" (MFKAP)

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ir
Corporal (سرجوخه)
What currency did Iran use to make the purchase?
What bank was used?
I thought that sanctions would prevent any purchase from the USA.

Most importantly, I hope that Iranians eat the whole wheat, not bleach it which gets rid of most of the real nutrients.

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zw
Major (سرگرد)
On a more positive note, the heavy rain and snow fall this winter will be very good for domestic agriculture. If combined with modernization of farms it could lessen the need for imports.

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Colonel (سرهنگ)
US sends wheat to North Korea..Is that still hypocrisy??? You'll be surprised to find out the US buys Iran's oil through middle-men..They just don't talk about it...

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ir
Master Sergeant (گروهبان)
Its called "world" ... you do something else you say something else ... Sometimes I wonder will the Real "attack" on Iran ever happen ...

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