Iran Economy NewsIran not to import wheat from India on disease...

Iran not to import wheat from India on disease concern

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Indiatimes: Iran will not import wheat from India on apprehensions over presence of a fungal disease in the grain. Iran has informed the Indian authorities about their concern over the disease called Karnal bunt and its inability to purchase wheat. Indiatimes.com

NEW DELHI: Iran will not import wheat from India on apprehensions over presence of a fungal disease in the grain.

Iran has informed the Indian authorities about their concern over the disease called Karnal bunt and its inability to purchase wheat.

“The Iranians are apprehensive about Karnal bunt disease. Although the disease doesn’t affect humans, they say if it spreads on farm fields there, it would create problems,” a senior commerce ministry official told PTI.

India is looking for a global market for its surplus wheat stocks, while Iran, faced with US and EU sanctions, is trying to increase trade with India to overcome those restrictions.

Iran, which buys soyameal from India, hasn’t imported Indian wheat since 1996 due to quality issues. It evinced interest in resuming wheat purchases on a long-term basis due to a drought in Russia.

The official said that Iran had sent a delegation to check the quality of Indian wheat.

India had lifted a ban on wheat exports in September 2011 after record production in two consecutive years. The country is estimated to have produced 93.62 million tonnes of wheat in the 2012-13 crop year (July-June).

The government had allowed the sale of 4.5 million tonnes of wheat from its own stock via public sector trading firms STC, MMTC and PEC, of which over 4 million tonnes have already been shipped.

The government also allowed private traders to export 5 million tonnes of wheat from its godowns. The Food Ministry has sent a proposal to the Cabinet to consider allowing additional exports of 2 million tonnes of wheat through PSUs.

Trade between India and Iran stood at USD 14.95 billion in 2012-13, with Iran’s exports to India valued at USD 11.6 billion.

India is Iran’s second-biggest oil customer, after China.

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