(Updates with payments in second paragraph.)
Feb. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Three ships carrying 70,000 to 80,000 metric tons of Ukraine grain are waiting to unload near ports in Iran, according to Svitlana Malysh, freight analyst at UkrAgroConsult.
Seven others have changed direction and gone to Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Qatar and Yemen, Malysh said in a phone interview today in Kiev. Payments may be made through letters of credit or some credit accounts and no bartering, she said.
The International Atomic Energy Agency said in November that Iran has studied how to make an atomic bomb. The government in Tehran says its nuclear program is for civilian purposes. The U.S. and EU have imposed sanctions restricting petroleum and non-energy trade and financial transactions in the past three months to force Iran to give up illicit nuclear activities.
There’s no state level restriction on trade between Iran and Ukraine, Ukrainian Agriculture Minister Mykola Prysyazhnyuk said Feb. 3. Disruptions to Iran-bound shipments were related to payments, the minister said.
Iranian importers are negotiating possible imports of corn through Iraq and wheat flour through Turkey, Malysh said. Traders in Kazakhstan also may supply 1.5 million tons of grain, mostly barley, to Iran, she said.
Iran purchased up to 500,000 tons of wheat this week and 1.1 million tons in the past two weeks for shipment from February through April, Kiev-based UkrAgroConsult said in e- mailed statement today. The wheat isn’t from Ukraine, it said.
The nation purchased 420,000 tons of German wheat, 300,000 to 360,000 tons of Canadian wheat, 240,000 tons of Brazilian wheat and 200,000 tons of Australian wheat, UkrAgroConsult said.
--With assistance from Daryna Krasnolutska in Kiev. Editors: Claudia Carpenter, John Deane
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