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Soviets Buy 450,000 Metric Tons of Wheat

May 19, 1987

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Soviet Union has bought an additional 450,000 metric tons of U.S. wheat at subsidized prices, according to the Agriculture Department.

The sales, equal to about 16.5 million bushels, were handled by three companies: Continental Grain, 100,000 tons; Cargill Inc., 150,000; and Artfer Incorp., 200,000.

Melvin E. Sims, general sales manager for the department’s Foreign Agricultural Service, said Monday the latest sales were part of the 4 million tons announced on April 30 for the Soviets under the Export Enhancement Program.

Exporters receive bonuses paid as free surplus commodities held by the USDA’s Commodity Credit Corp. so they can meet prices of foreign competitors.

Sims said the average selling price of the wheat, allowing for the bonuses, was $80 per ton, or about $2.18 per bushel, delivered to U.S. ocean ports. A metric ton is about 2,205 pounds and is equal to 36.7 bushels of wheat.

The bonuses awarded the exporters averaged $44.40 per ton or about $1.21 per bushel. In other words, wheat that cost about $3.39 per bushel, was lowered to $2.18 in order to make it attractive enough for the Soviets to buy.

Sims said the Soviets have now bought 1.45 million tons of the 4 million tons committed through Sept. 30, leaving 2.55 million tons to be sold.

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