European traders say Iran has bought around 60,000 tons of Australian wheat irrespective of Washington’s tough economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
Over the past week, the Government Trading Corporation of Iran (GTC) has been seeking offers of varied quantities of Australian standard white wheat for June shipment, Reuters reported.
“They’re buying one-off shipments now because their harvest is in full swing,” said a European trader.
The report comes as economic sanctions make it difficult for traders to obtain letters of credit or conduct international transfers of funds through banks.
The United States announced in mid-March that Iran had purchased 60,000 metric tons (66,139 tons) of American wheat.
According to a Reuters report published on March 16, it was the first time in three years that Iran had purchased US wheat. The industry sources said Iran was close to completing purchases of another 220,000 metric tons to be shipped as early as April, and was in talks with exporters to buy another undisclosed amount.
The price tag for the 400,000 metric tons of grain — 180,000 confirmed and 220,000 yet to be formally declared — could be around USD 160 million, export sources said.
Trade sources said grain giants Cargill Inc. and Bunge Ltd were the likely suppliers to Iran.
The two companies were also major sellers of wheat to Iran three years ago when the Islamic Republic bought nearly 7 million metric tons on the world market, including 1.8 million metric tons from the United States.