Amadeusz Juskowiak

Ussr wheat bonus rumors persist despite denials

Grain trade representatives continued to speculate that the Reagan administration will offer subsidized wheat to the Soviet Union while US Agriculture Department officials said there was no substance to the reports

Its pure fiction said one senior official at USDAs Foreign Agricultural Service referring to the rumor that the administration would make an export enhancement offer to Moscow in the next two to three weeks

An aide to Agriculture Secretary Richard Lyng who asked not to be identified said there was nothing to substantiate the speculation which he said was started by somebody fanning the wheat market Wheat futures strengthened today partly on the basis of the speculation

One lobbyist with close connections to the Reagan administration said a Soviet trade team told private grain trade officials in New York last week that Moscow would buy as much as four mln tonnes of US wheat much of it before midyear if it was competitively priced

Alexander Ivlev an official with Amtorg a Soviet trading organization told Reuters he had no information to substantiate the rumors of an imminent wheat subsidy offer but said that Moscow would consider buying US wheat if it was competitively priced

We dont care if it is EEP what we the Soviets are looking for is competitive prices Ivlev said If they the administration are interested in selling it wheat they should find ways to do it