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Iraq aims to buy 1.5 mln tonnes of wheat

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Iraq's trade ministry aims to strike deals to buy 1.5 million tonnes of wheat to support strategic reserves and cover the country's consumption in the first months of the next year, the state news agency INA reported on Tuesday.

The ministry, which received $200 million in funds for the wheat purchases, expects to buy a preliminary 400,000 tonnes of wheat, while the rest will be bought gradually.

Iraq has sufficient wheat reserves to cover its needs until the end of the current year after procuring 2.2 million tonnes of local grain, the ministry added.

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The trade ministry, which has signed memorandums of understanding with Australia, Canada, and the United States, will buy wheat through direct purchases or tenders.

Iraq is a major Middle East grain importer and needs between 4.5 million and 5 million tonnes of wheat a year to supply its subsidized food program.

It usually mixes local grain with supplies from Australia, Canada and the US to make up for any shortfalls in local production.

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