Russia, Iran discuss grain-for-oil barter deal - news agencies

Russia, Iran discuss grain-for-oil barter deal - news agencies

Moscow and Tehran are in talks on supplying Russian grains to Iran in exchange for oil, Andrey Gormakh, first deputy chief executive of Russia's state grain trader, United Grain Company, was quoted as saying on Tuesday, Reuters reported.

Russia and Iran have been discussing their oil-for-food deal since early 2014, but are yet to agree on details, highlighting the difficulties the two major energy producers face due to sanctions from the West.

RIA news agency quoted Gormakh as saying that United Grain Company was ready to supply between 1 and 2 million tonnes of grain to Iran per year. That would be worth between $250 and $500 million, according to Reuters calculations based on the current price for Russian wheat.

"This question is being discussed at the working meeting, but we've not been informed of the solution to the financial question," RIA quoted Gormakh as saying on the sidelines of a Russian-Iranian business forum in Tehran.

Iran bought around 200,000 tonnes of wheat, traders said on Monday, as the Islamic Republic stepped up import activity in the face of a poorer than expected domestic harvest.

Russia, one of the world's largest wheat exporters, is set to harvest its largest crop in six years and has already harvested 50 million tonnes from 64 percent of the planned area.

In January, sources told Reuters Iran and Russia were negotiating an oil-for-goods swap worth $1.5 billion a month that would enable Iran to lift oil exports substantially, undermining Western sanctions.

Under the proposed deal Russia would buy up to 500,000 barrels a day or a third of Iranian oil exports in exchange for Russian equipment and goods, sources have said.

Iran's grain market is between 5 and 7 million tonnes of grains per year, Gormakh added. He also said that the cost of Russian supplies to Iran's southern ports can be expensive.

United Grain Company was not able to provide an additional comment when called by Reuters in Moscow.

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