Thursday 17 May 2012
Wheat from Pakistan
Iran and Pakistan have hit a deadlock in talks over the price of wheat in a one-million-ton barter deal to get round Western sanctions against Tehran, a senior Pakistani commerce ministry official involved in the negotiations said on Wednesday.
Talks held in Tehran ground to a halt when Iran offered $265 per ton for the wheat but Pakistan was asking for international pricing of $312 per ton, the official told Reuters, requesting anonymity.
“We told them that the minimum rate in the international market is $277 per ton, and our private exporters are sending their wheat at around $312 per ton,” he said. “So $265 was unworkable.
That’s where we were deadlocked.”
In March, Pakistan agreed to export one-million-ton of wheat to Iran in a barter deal as Western sanctions over Tehran’s nuclear programme squeeze its ability to pay for food imports.
Food shipments are not targeted under the sanctions, but Iranian companies have been cut off from much of the global banking system because of the financial measures against Tehran, making payments difficult and discouraging traders.
Tehran has ordered a large part of its expected yearly requirement in the past two months around two million tons of wheat from various sources paying prices over world market levels to get around sanctions and prevent unrest.
Tehran also started talks about major wheat barter deals with India and Pakistan but progress has been slow.
“We finally decided that we’re going to go back to our respective governments and see what kind of flexibility we have on pricing,” the commerce official said.
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