* Imports from SE Europe seen in spring
* Tarragona wheat stocks 300,000 tonnes
* Stocks enough to cover March demand
By Martin Roberts
MADRID, March 8 Spain has imported wheat
from Brazil under a special quota to help fill its grain
deficit, trade sources said Thursday, and shipments of U.S.
wheat are expected in the coming weeks.
Spanish dealers usually use so-called tariff-rate quota
(TRQ) permits to import from Black Sea countries such as Ukraine
and Russia, but reported hold-ups due to cold weather and
competitive pricing in recent weeks diverted interest to across
Trade sources said 150,000 tonnes of Brazilian wheat were
unloaded since late January in Spain's leading grains port of
"All the Brazilian wheat's been sold, there can't be much of
it left," said one dealer.
Brussels has awarded TRQ licences to import about 1.2
million tonnes of low- and medium-quality wheat in the first
quarter from countries other than the United
States and Canada.
Licences to import 148,000 tonnes of U.S. wheat have also
been awarded, which follows reports of sales of around 200,000
U.S. soft red winter was quoted at 219 euros (US$290) per
tonne for delivery - cost, insurance and freight - in
Mediterranean ports, or about 5 euros more than Black Sea
Including discharging and storage costs, feed wheat was last
quoted at about 223-224 euros a tonne in Tarragona.
Importers have until March 31 to exercise TRQ permits, and
milder weather may allow inland waterways to thaw and make
southeastern Europe an attractive origin.
"Some importers are waiting to see if problems on the Danube
clear up, so some cargoes may be loaded there before the spring
harvest," a port source said.
Wheat stocks in Tarragona stood at an estimated 300,000
tonnes, with loadings at around 8,000 tonnes a day.
Another 68,000 tonnes of Black Sea feed wheat were due later
this month, as well as 27,000 tonnes of milling wheat from
Lithuania, with U.S. wheat cargoes a possibility.
"With consumption what it is, the port market is in theory
covered for March. Purchases ought to be made now for April and
May, when consumption tends to pick up," the port source added.
Dealers say demand was in a lull in February due to the
livestock reproductive cycle, and breeders being squeezed
between rising raw material costs and sluggish wholesale meat
In No. 2 port Cartagena, the roster showed a mixed
46,800-tonne cargo of wheat and maize had docked from Ukraine,
as well as 39,600 tonnes of wheat from Germany, where feed wheat
was quoted at around milling prices due to firm demand.
Spain needs to import at least 10 million tonnes of grain a
year to meet demand fueled by what is Europe's biggest pig feed
industry, which makes it a major buyer on world markets.
($1 = 0.7622 euros)
(Additional reporting by Michael Hogan in Hamburg; Editing by