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Bloomberg reports that Iraq plans to import 3 million metric tons of wheat in 2012, with tenders starting in January.

Hassan Ibrahim, director general of the country’s grain board, said in an interview that  the grain board wants $3 billion to spend on grain imports next year, up 10 percent on the 2011 figure.

Iraq uses 4.5 million tons of wheat a year and 1.25 million tons of rice, mostly imported.

The rice harvest has started for this year, with production forecast at 250,000 tons compared with 150,000 tons last year; 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. The government buys rice from local producers at $625 a ton, according to the grain board.

(Source: Bloomberg)

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