The state Soil Products Office (TMO) has invited bids by 14 December for 400,000 tonnes of wheat to be imported for its strategic stocks and the domestic market. The grain board’s strategic stocks are running low after a poor harvest and an inability to compete with inflated free market prices.

A damaged domestic harvest this year forced the TMO to import, both to build its stocks and ease domestic supply shortages causing speculation, hoarding, and free market inflation. The government now expects the wheat harvest to work out at 18 million tonnes in 1995, rather than 21.7 million tonnes previously anticipated.