File - Syrian farmers harvest wheat in a field in Assanamein area, south of Damascus August 20, 2009. (REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri)
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War-torn Syria is struggling to buy food commodities in the quantities it needs, despite repeatedly issuing tenders for hundreds of thousands of tons of sugar, rice and wheat, trade sources say.On top of the risks of trading with a country wracked by violence, suppliers to Syria require licenses from U.S. and European Union authorities, even for unrestricted humanitarian goods, which creates extra red tape.U.S. headquartered agribusiness company Archer Daniels Midland Co. said it had been a major supplier of agricultural commodities to Syria in the past.There is also a greater risk of non-payment, given the complex mechanisms needed to get round sanctions on Syria's banking system.Shipping companies have also scaled back activities – some have continued to visit Syria's two ports of Tartous and Latakia, but with smaller volumes of cargo.
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