MOSCOW, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Russia plans to start supplying Syria with sunflower oil later this month via privately-held producer Solnechnye Produkty, the producer said on Wednesday.
Russia, the world’s second largest producer of sunflower oil after Ukraine, supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the long-running civil war in Syria and has previously supplied the country with agriculture products.
Solnechnye Produkty (which translates as Sunny Products) said it would supply 6,000 tonnes of raw sunflower oil in bulk from the Azov Sea Yesk port to Syria up to the end of January.
It is the first direct supply of Russian sunflower oil to Syria, Daniil Khotko, an analyst at IKAR agriculture consultancy, told Reuters. Previously, Russia was supplying raw sunflower oil to Turkey, which was then selling refined oil to Syria, he said.
“Now, we are entering these countries directly,” Khotko said, adding that Russia has also boosted direct supplies of sunflower oil to Iraq this marketing year, which started on September 1.
Solnechnye Produkty has already exported its sunflower oil to eleven countries, including Iraq, Iran and Turkey, so far this season and plans to develop its supplies to the Middle East, the company said in a statement. (Reporting by Olga Popova; additional reporting by Gus Trompiz; writing by Polina Devitt; editing by Jane Merriman)