(Updates with wheat budget in second paragraph.)
Nov. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Iraq plans to import 3 million metric tons of wheat next year, with tenders starting in January, according to Hassan Ibrahim, director general of the country’s grain board.
The grain board wants $3 billion to spend on grain imports next year, up 10 percent from this year, Hassan said in an interview in Baghdad today. Iraq uses 4.5 million tons of wheat a year and 1.25 million tons of rice, mostly imported, he said.
The rice harvest has started for this year, with production forecast at 250,000 tons compared with 150,000 tons last year, according to Hassan. Iraq’s wheat production for 2010-11 was 1.73 million tons, according to the grain board. The last wheat purchase was for 350,000 tons about 45 days ago, Hassan said. The government buys rice from local producers at $625 a ton, according to the grain board.
--Editors: Claudia Carpenter, Dan Weeks
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