Iraq says decision on Russian wheat imports could be months away

Iraq, which sources its wheat from Australia, the United States and Canada, has specific requirements for its imports. (File/AFP)
Updated 11 June 2019

Iraq says decision on Russian wheat imports could be months away

  • Local wheat production so far from this year’s harvest was 2.5 million tons
  • “We hope that our production is going up and this will affect what we do for the future,” an official said

LONDON: Iraq is still holding discussions over possible wheat imports with Russia and it could be months before any outcome is known, Iraq’s deputy trade minister said on Tuesday.
“Up until now we cannot say whether we will take or not — it depends on the results,” Haitham Jameel Ismail Al-Khshali said.
Al-Khshali said a technical group of Iraqi specialists was looking into the issue.
“It will take some time ... maybe a few months,” he told Reuters on the sidelines of an International Grains Council conference in London.
Iraq, which sources its wheat from Australia, the United States and Canada, has specific requirements for its imports.
“We are open to all countries in the world,” Al-Khshali said.
“With Russia we are not finished yet — we cannot announce now something until all these talks are finished.”
Al-Khshali said local wheat production so far from this year’s harvest was 2.5 million tons, adding it potentially could reach 4 million or 5 million tons.
When asked about wheat imports this year, he said “until now we cannot say — it depends on our production.”
“We hope that our production is going up and this will affect what we do for the future,” he added.
Interfax quoted Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih as saying on Monday that Riyadh may allow deliveries of Russian wheat in July.
Al-Falih said the Saudi side had not yet finished testing Russian wheat, adding he hoped a decision would be reached in July.


US President Trump does not want to do business with China’s Huawei

Updated 19 August 2019

US President Trump does not want to do business with China’s Huawei

  • US Commerce Department expected to extend a reprieve that permits Huawei to buy supplies from US companies to service its customers

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Sunday said he did not want the United States to do business with China’s Huawei even as the administration weighs whether to extend a grace period for the company.
Reuters and other media outlets reported on Friday that the US Commerce Department is expected to extend a reprieve given to Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. that permits the Chinese firm to buy supplies from US companies so that it can service existing customers.
The “temporary general license” will be extended for Huawei for 90 days, Reuters reported, citing two sources familiar with the situation.
On Sunday, Trump told reporters before boarding Air Force One in New Jersey that he did not want to do business with Huawei for national security reasons.
He said there were small parts of Huawei’s business that could be exempted from a broader ban, but that it would be “very complicated.” He did not say whether his administration would extend the “temporary general license.”
Speaking earlier on Sunday, National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow said the Commerce department would extend the Huawei licensing process for three months as a gesture of “good faith” amid broader trade negotiations with China.
“We’re giving a break to our own companies for three months,” Kudlow said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”