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Libya tenders for 100,000 tonnes of milling wheat

Bidding for early October deadline is sign that grain trade is returning to normal, but uncertainties remain over the banking system

Reuters, Friday 30 Sep 2011

Libya has issued a tender for the purchase of 100,000 tonnes of milling wheat, European traders said on Friday. 

Bidding deadline is Tuesday, 4 October.

"This tender could be a sign that grain trade is starting returning to normal in Libya but uncertainties, especially with the banking system, may mean that a lot of trading houses will not participate," one trader said.

The tender sought 50,000 tonnes for shipment two weeks after the opening of a letter of credit for the purchase and another 50,000 tonnes four weeks after the letter of credit opening.

No commitment was made about what time the letter of credit would be opened, traders said. No specific wheat origins were specified.

Initial Libyan commercial purchases reported in early September were for Russian wheat while some French wheat was also sent to the country.

"Libya has a huge requirement and needs to get things rolling but the banks need to be working," another trader said. "There are estimates that Libya has short-term need for about 500,000 tonnes of wheat, 100,000 tonnes of corn, 50,000 tonnes of soymeal and between 50,000 to 100,000 tonnes of barley."

It is believed some barley purchases have been made by Libya recently but the details are unclear, he added.

Libya's banking system is functioning again following last month's fall of the capital Tripoli in the uprising against former ruler Muammar Gaddafi, and the central bank had sent instructions to commercial banks to start issuing letters of credit to importers, the country's central bank governor said on Thursday

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