LONDON/DUBAI - Cargill, Bunge and other global traders have halted food supply deals with Iran because new US sanctions have paralysed banking systems required to secure payments, industry and Iranian government sources say.
Food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies are exempt from sanctions Washington reimposed this year after US President Donald Trump
said in May he was walking away from a 2015 international deal over Iran's nuclear programme.
But the US measures targeting everything from oil sales to shipping and financial activities have deterred many foreign banks from all Iranian business, including humanitarian deals. Many smaller banks that had dealt with Iran under a previous round of sanctions have also stopped dealings this time.
"There is no real chance of being paid using the existing mechanisms and many international traders are unable to do new business for the moment," said one European source with knowledge of the situation, who declined to be identified.
Western and Iranian trade sources said US groups Cargill and Bunge, as well as Singapore's Olam , were among those which could not conclude new export deals for wheat, corn, raw sugar or other commodities because Western banks would not process payments with Iran.