Syria to import one million tons of wheat from Russia

DAMASCUS, Syria (North Press) – The Syrian government has struck a deal to import one million tons of wheat from its ally Russia, North Press reported a source in the Syrian Grain Corporation on Monday.

The agreed quantities began to arrive successively at the Syrian ports, where they will be transported to mills and silos to secure the need of the bakeries for flour, the sources said.

500,000 tons of wheat will be supplied by Russian companies, whereas the remaining 500,000 tons will be supplied through local suppliers who have contracted with Russian companies, the source added.

It is noteworthy that Syria was once self-sufficient. It used to produce 4 million tons of wheat in a good year and was able to export 1.5 million tons. However, it imports wheat now due to the war, rainfall drop and the difficulty of securing raw materials such as seeds and fertilizers.

The previous factors made wheat cultivation unprofitable in government-controlled areas, as the quantities received by the Grain Corporation last season did not exceed 370,000 tons.

The Syrian government has raised the price it pays to farmers for their wheat for the next season, in an attempt to encourage its cultivation, and set the price at 1,500 Syrian pounds.

The companies that supply wheat to Syria are Russian, and there are also 4 local companies that will supply 500,000 tons, and they started importing it, according to the source.

The financing of the deal will be through a loan with Russia to finance hydrocarbons and wheat.

Reporting by Rita Ali