|Iran delegation in India to finalize wheat import||
New Delhi: An Iranian delegation is in on a week-long visit to finalize wheat imports after resolving quality issues with India which has surplus stocks after record production.
Iran has not been importing wheat from India since 1996 due to presence of a fungal disease called 'karnal bunt' in the grain. However, two nations are in talks for last couple of months to sort out the quality issues.
"The Irananian delegation is here to take forward the talks. If they agree to our proposal, hopefully the wheat export deal will be finalized this week itself for initial two lakh tons," a senior government official told PTI.
Earlier this month, an Indian delegation had visited Tehran to discuss about terms of exports and relaxation in quality guidelines for Indian wheat.
India had offered the Iranian officials wheat shipment at USD 340 a ton, loading from Kandla and Mundra ports and the karnal bunt tolerance limit of 0.25 percent.
On the other side, Iran initially wants to buy two lakh tons of wheat a price of USD 325 a ton during December -January period. It has also evinced interest to import 2-3 million tons of the grain on long-term basis.
Recently, Food Minister K V Thomas had said, "Iran had taken samples and has responded positively. It is interested to import wheat from India on a long-term basis."
The West Asian country wants to step up trade with India, particularly in food products through a bilateral payment arrangement. The wheat export transactions will be done through the UCO Bank in India.
In the face of surplus stocks, India is now scouting for global wheat market. Over 1.5 million tons of wheat has already been exported through private trade since the ban on export was lifted in September 2011.
Last year, the country had harvested a record 93.90 million tons of wheat due to good monsoon.
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