STC issues modified wheat fumigation norms for imports

New Delhi, May 17 | Updated: May 18 2006, 05:30am hrs
State Trading Corp (STC) on Wednesday modified the tender to import three million tonne of wheat, allowing in-transit methyl bromide fumigation after wheat shipments reach Indian ports, and sampling at discharge ports instead of landing ports. However, plant quarantine norms are not relaxed.

The tender had earlier asked for in-transit methyl bromide fumigation -- which was objected by many prospective bidders as the chemical is banned in several countries.

STC has clarified that it will accept aluminium phosphide fumigation at load ports in dosage, acceptable to the exporting countries. It has also said to consider allowing deliveries in larger vessels after finalisation of bids, depending on port availability and facilities required by the Food Corp of India (FCI).

The tender earlier allowed only smaller vessels with draft width not more than 33 feet for berthing.

STC has also permitted sampling according to International Seed Testing Association norms, instead of testing 1 kg sample from every 20 tonne of the cargo by Indian officials. It has clarified that lay time of the shipments will commence only after the port health organisation at the landing port clears the cargo.

Bidders had expressed apprehension on who would bear the cost, if grain unloading was held up on delay in inspection. These changes are as per the suggestions by the bidders.

CRISIL MarketWire

AWB stalemate nearing end

New Delhi, May 17: The stalemate between AWB Ltd and India on delayed wheat import shipments of 4,00,000 tonne is nearing an end, an official of the Australian company said on Wednesday.
After shipping close to 1,00,000 tonne of the total 5,00,000 tonne order, AWB had put on hold the remaining consignments due to quality concerns.
The talks to amicably sort out the issue is at a fairly advanced stage... We are pretty close to resolving the vexed issue, the official said over phone from Melbourne. Last week, AWBs shipments were held back after the wheat exporter received fresh complaints on the quality of the cereal being shipped. Questions have been raised over the quality of Australian wheat for the second time since India awarded the import order to AWB.
CRISIL MarketWire