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Iran buyers buy corn as grain import gathers pace

LONDON, October 17, 2014

Private importers in Iran bought 95,000 to 120,000 tonnes of corn in the past few weeks, adding to other recent large grain purchases as the country builds up strategic stocks, trade sources said on Friday.

The sources said the corn, to be sourced from the Black Sea region, was for shipment between October to December.

Some of the cargoes were purchased at $169 per tonne on a free-on-board basis for November shipment, a price which the sources said indicated falling rates even for Iran, which has carried a premium in recent years.

"Private Iranian importers have been taking advantage of current low corn prices to get supply cover," one trader said. "A series of separate consignments were purchased as the relaxed sanctions make more private buying possible."

Iran was never barred from buying food under sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union over Tehran's nuclear activities.

But the measures made trade more difficult over the past two years by hindering payments and ocean shipping, which has left the bulk of imports in the hands of state buyers such as the GTC and SLAL.

Iranian buyers have also been stepping up purchases of wheat with 400,000 tonnes snapped up earlier this month, trade sources said. Some market players questioned whether the deal was concluded, while others said it was done by private interests.

"There is no doubt that Iran is on a bigger buying push at the moment - the main purpose is to build stocks in the country. There are private importers involved too," a commodities trade source said.
In recent years, Iran has imported around five million tonnes of wheat, but sources estimate the current requirement at up to six million tonnes.

"There has been a growing number of cargoes circulating in recent days for grains including corn. Iran still has more to buy," another trade source said.

Sources said there was also market talk that at least 25,000 tonnes of Black Seabarley had been purchased by Iranian importers.

Earlier this month, Kazakh state agricultural holding KazAgro said Iran was ready to increase wheat imports from Kazakhstan to up to a total of 2 million tonnes over the next two to three marketing years. Kazakhstan exported 345,000 tonnes of wheat to Iran in the last marketing year, which ended on June 30. - Reuters




Tags: Iran | corn | buy |

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