Australia to supply most of Iraq’s wheat
SYDNEY: Australia’s monopoly wheat exporter AWB Ltd has won a contract to supply 460,000 tonnes of a 630,000 tonne order to supply Iraq under the UN oil for food program, officials said on Friday.
A spokesman for AWB said the contract, awarded through the United Nations, would be the last under the program.
The Iraq Grains Board, members of which met Australian government officials this week in Canberra, will take over wheat contracts in the future.
The latest contract, which is for good quality milling wheat, will cover wheat shipped between May and June.
The spokesman said the company was happy with the contract which followed a series with Iraq.
“The size of the contracts vary from year to year, but this is a good one that we’re happy with,” he said. Australia, Iraq’s largest wheat supplier after the 1991 Gulf war when Baghdad banned supplies from the United States, shipped grain worth 800 million dollars (600 million US) in the year before the 2003 war under the oil for food program.
Iraq halved its annual wheat order from Australia in late 2002 because of Canberra’s criticism of president Saddam Hussein. —AFP