MMTC looks to wheat, corn exports

Panaji, Jan 13 (IANS) With iron ore exports grounded, the Minerals and Metal Trading Corp (MMTC) has begun exporting wheat to make up for the losses through Goa's leading port, an official said.

A.F. Sequeira, head of the state unit of MMTC, India's biggest bullion trader, said exports of products like wheat was a sign of the times in the state where extraction, transportation and export of ore has been banned by the Supreme Court.

The court is hearing a petition on Goa's illegal mining controversy.

"A consignment of 31,500 tons of wheat is going to Ethiopia. The wheat has been procured by the Food Corp of India (FCI) from places like Punjab and Haryana and will be exported through Goa," Sequeira told reporters here.

The MMTC in 2009-10 had exported two lakh tonnes of iron ore from Goa's Mormugao Port Trust (MPT).

But a subsequent slump in the ore business following allegations of illegal extraction and subsequent ban has reduced Goa's iron ore trade to zero this year.

Sequeira now says that after wheat, the MMTC was looking to facilitate corn shipment from Karnataka to Malaysia.

"The consignment is ready in Bagalkot (Karnataka). 24,000 tonnes of corn will be exported to Malaysia. The deal is through," the official said.

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