Jordan Loses $7 Million Selling Wheat That Failed Rules

Updated on

Jordan lost $7.05 million on 50,000 metric tons of Polish wheat that had to be sold after the grain didn’t meet rules set by the government.

The price was $150 a ton, Mohammad Malahmeh, head of the tenders department at Jordan’s Ministry of Industry & Trade, said by phone Tuesday. Jordan bought the grain at $291. The wheat had to be sold because it didn’t meet standards set by the Jordan Food & Drugs Administration, he said.

“The government is to blame for paying before shipment passed technical tests,” said Khalil Haj Tawfiq, president of the Foodstuff Traders Association in Amman. “The government should have waited for the tests to be conducted on the shipment. This is usually the norm across the world.”

Malahmeh wasn’t able to immediately say why the government bought the wheat without checking it first. Chicago wheat prices, a global benchmark, dropped 17 percent this year amid a growing glut.

Jordan needs imported wheat for all of its domestic needs, usually relying on Black Sea nations for the grain used to make subsidized bread. All consumers are entitled to the wheat bread known as mowahad that bakeries sell for 22 cents a kilogram (2.2 pounds), according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s specialist in Amman.

The country will get $1 billion in U.S. aid next year, with $277 million to support Jordan’s effort in dealing with Syrian migrants, Jordan’s daily newspaper Al-Ghad reported in September, citing the Congressional Budget Justification.

(Updates with wheat prices in fourth paragraph.)
    Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE