The lowest price offer received by Iraq’s state grains buyer in a tender to purchase at least 30,000 tonnes of rice was $305 a tonne c&f free out for rice to be sourced from India, traders said on Monday.

The traders said they believed the Iraqi buyer had not yet made a decision in the tender, which closed on Monday with offers having to remain valid up to Dec. 10.

One offer was made for rice from Pakistan at $445 a tonne c&f free out, they said. The lowest among a series of offers for rice from Thailand was $459 a tonne c&f free out.

One offer was made for rice from the United States at $667 a tonne c&f free out.

Iraq also received single offers for rice from Argentina at $575 a tonne c&f free out, optionally from Argentina or Uruguay at $591 a tonne c&f free out, from Paraguay at $569 a tonne c&f free out and from Vietnam at $573 a tonne c&f free out.

In its last reported rice purchase on Nov. 16, Iraq’s trade ministry said it had bought 90,000 tonnes of U.S. rice in a direct deal outside the tender process.

Iraq’s cabinet in May authorised the trade ministry to make direct purchases of wheat and rice to guarantee food security.

Iraq had been struggling to import grains for its food subsidy programme after introducing new payment and quality terms that kept traders away from its international tenders earlier this year.

But traders said participation in the latest rice tender by international rice export houses was again at normal levels.

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