Syrian government turns again to Russian for wheat supplies
According to Reuters, it is the second time Syrian officials have attempted to make a huge wheat deal in the last six months.
“We have signed six contracts each for 200,000 tonnes. These are local firms who will source the Russian wheat for us,” a government source told the news agency, adding that the government of President Bashar Al Assad had allocated US$101m for some of the purchase.
The government only managed to collect less than a third of the wheat that was estimated to have been produced in Syria last year as the country continued to be torn apart by a lengthy civil war and the Islamic State incursion.
In October, the state buyer agreed to purchase 1m tonnes of wheat from Russia to prevent shortages in government-held areas.
The General Establishment for Cereal Processing and Trade (Hoboob) struck a deal with Syria’s ally, Russia, to sustain stocks after a sharp drop in the country’s wheat production last season.
The deal with a little-known firm has not yet been fulfilled. According to Syrian and Russian sources cited by Reuters, it is possible that it will never be fulfilled.
“This new arrangement doesn’t cancel out the previous deal, we are still trying to get procedures moving for that one,” one source told the wire.