Iraq has just signed more orders for 100,000 tonnes of wheat from the USA, another 100,000 from Australia, and 50,000 from Ukraine.
Iraq imports lots of wheat, with which it manufactures flour to use with its ration cards. The ration cards are seen by some Iraqis as better than money and for many are essential support. They can be used for flour, rice, sugar, cooking oil and baby milk. This is a smaller list than earlier. Due to budget cuts this year, items taken off the list include tea, washing detergent, soap, milk powder and grains such as lentils, beans and chickpeas.
Iraq needs 4.5m tonnes of wheat a year, but produces just a fraction of this. It imports 350,000 tonnes of wheat a month. The director of Iraq's Grain Trade Agency, Muhammad Ali Mustafa, said: "The company is working all year round to secure the delivery of wheat to the State Company for Grain Processing in order to manufacture flour that is distributed under the ration card items".
(Source: NINA, Grain Trade Agency)