|Iran buys about 55,000 tons wheat from Russia||
LONDON (Reuters)-- Iran has bought around 55,000 tons of wheat from Russia, European traders said on Monday.
The wheat was for shipment from the Russian port of Novorossiisk and was purchased by state grains buyer GTC, traders said.
"Iran continued to buy right through the summer from the European Union and Australia, and is now turning its focus to Black Sea wheat from August shipment onwards," one European trade source said.
Lithuania and Latvia have stepped up wheat deals with Iran in recent months, with sales estimated at 500,000 tons, a trade source said last week.
Iran is not barred from buying food or other goods for humanitarian purposes under sanctions imposed over Tehran's pursuit of nuclear technology. Measures by the European Union and the United States, however, have made trade more difficult over the past two years.
"Payment difficulties do come up and it is not a straightforward place to trade with, but deals to Iran are still being done," another European grains trade source said.
In May, trade sources told Reuters payment problems had disrupted commercial food cargoes to Iran, with hundreds of thousands of tons of grain and sugar stuck in transit.
"While payment issues have come up in recent weeks, you can still find enough ship owners willing to transport cargoes to Iran. There are those that wish to avoid the area due to possible sanctions-related matters, so there is an extra cost dimension to this trade," a European based shipping source said.
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