HAMBURG- Iranian state agency the Government Trading Corporation (GTC) has issued an international tender to purchase about 60,000 tonnes of milling wheat, European traders said on Wednesday.

The deadline for submission of price offers in the tender is Thursday, Jan. 20.

The wheat is sought for shipment in February and March, traders said.

Volumes in Iran’s tenders are nominal and the country regularly buys more than the original tonnage sought.

The tender continues a period of heavy wheat purchasing by Iran in international markets.

Iran needs to import around 8 million tonnes of wheat after its crop was damaged by the worst drought in 50 years, Reuters reported in October. But western sanctions on Iran continue to make payment difficult, traders stress.

Iran bought about 240,000 tonnes of wheat last week, expected to be sourced from Russia or Germany. This followed another purchaser of 240,000 tonnes earlier in January and 740,000 tonnes bought in December.

Neighbouring Turkey, whose crops also suffered from drought, has also been purchasing wheat heavily.

(Reporting by Michael Hogan, editing by Louise Heavens) ((; +49 172 671 36 54; Reuters Messaging: