MP: Iran should revise oil-for-wheat deal

Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 21/ Trend F.Milad/

Iran should stop trading oil for wheat, as the country has reached self-sufficiency in wheat production, an Iranian MP Iraj Nadimi said.

"Iran should trade its oil for products that are really needed inside the country like grain and provender," the PANA News Agency quoted Nadimi as saying. Based on the reports Iran has signed some contracts with India and Pakistan to trade its oil for wheat.

Iran imported 3 million tons of wheat in the first half of the current Iranian calendar year, which began on March 20, deputy industry, mine and trade minister Hamin Safdel said.

It is while based on the previous reports Iran's wheat import stood at 7-10 million tons in the first six months of the current year.

Hadi Ghavami, parliamentary Plan and Budget Committee member had said previously that Iran imported much more than a half of its annual wheat from abroad.

Wheat issue is very sensitive for Iran with 75.2 million people. Fars News Agency quoted Ghavami on Oct.2, saying that Iran imported 7 million tons of its 12 million annual wheat demands during last 6 months (Iranian solar year begins in March 20). Iran had reached self-confidence in wheat sphere several years ago.

The chairman of the agriculture committee at the Iranian Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines also had criticized importing 7-10 million tons of wheat during the six-month period.

Mohammad-Hossein Karimi told the Mehr News Agency that such a high volume of wheat imports is alarming.

"This is while it had been projected that the annual domestic wheat production would hit 14 million tons and that the country would export its surplus wheat," he noted. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Iran's rice output will remain unchanged at 2.4 million tons, but wheat output will decline by 4 percent to reach 13.5 million tons.

Total Iran's cereal imports, however, are forecast to remain high at 7.3 million tons, consisting of maize, wheat and rice.

In August, Press TV quoted the advisor to the minister of Agricultural Jihad as saying that Iran is the 12th leading producer of wheat in the world.

Javad Hosseini said that the wheat yield will be sufficient for the domestic use.

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