Iraq Buys US Wheat

Iraq announced the purchase of 250,000MT of hard wheat Tuesday, with 100,000MT of it coming from the US. They also bought 100,000MT of Russian wheat and 50,000MT of Canadian wheat.

It is interesting that the US should pick up this surprise business, especially when you consider that the Russian wheat was just over $30/tonne cheaper than the US grain.

Some analysts are saying that the buy was a token gesture to President Obama who was making an unscheduled visit to Baghdad.

That wouldn't explain however the Canadian purchase, which was also priced substantially dearer than the Russian wheat. More likely, I'd suggest, is that much of the high quality Russian grain has already been sold & shipped this season, and that the North American purchases are based on quality.

Since the ousting of Saddam Hussein Iraq had been a major importer of US wheat, but the country's last major US purchase was way back in February 2008.

The country is expected to consume around 4 million tonnes of wheat this year, but produces only around one eighth of that.