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Iraqi petroleum exports under UN oil-for-food programme rise slightly

Iraqi petroleum exports under UN oil-for-food programme rise slightly

The United Nations oil-for-food programme today reported a slight increase in Iraq's oil exports under the humanitarian scheme that allows Baghdad to use a portion of its petroleum revenues to purchase relief goods.

In its weekly update, the Office of the Iraq Programme said Baghdad had exported 15.9 million barrels of oil in the week ending 19 October, registering a slight increase from the previous week's total of 14.7 million barrels.

The exports were worth an estimated €310 million (euros), or $280 million, bringing to just over $4 billion the total estimated revenue earned from the sale of Iraqi oil in the programme's current phase, which ends on 30 November.

At a briefing on the implementation of the programme in the agricultural sector to the Security Council's 661 sanctions committee, which oversees the plan, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) expressed concern at the level of contracts placed on hold by the committee, especially in view of the impact on this sector of two consecutive years of severe drought in Iraq.

According to FAO, as of 30 September, almost $3 billion worth of agricultural supply and equipment contracts had been submitted for approval, of which 81 per cent, or $2.4 billion worth, had been approved. Another 14 per cent, or $420 million worth, had been placed on hold pending further review.