LONG-AWAITED SOVIET WHEAT BID COULD SQUEEZE NEARBY SUPPLIES

LONG-AWAITED SOVIET WHEAT BID COULD SQUEEZE NEARBY SUPPLIES

The Soviet Union's bid Monday for 300,000 metric tons of U.S. wheat has long been awaited in U.S. export markets, but the immediacy of shipment period may

put a temporary squeeze on pipeline supplies to the Gulf, U.S. exporters said.

Seeking April 15-May 15 shipment, the Soviets Monday bid $132.50 per ton, f.o.b. Gulf, for hard red winter or northern/dark northern spring wheat under export bonus.But concern over pipeline supplies may be a moot point, at least until the U.S. Department of Agriculture's decision is unveiled this morning on whether it plans to accept the Soviet bid.

Some exporters thought the Soviet bid was relatively low and would set the export bonus payment at or above $30. Such a level would be higher than the USDA's recent bonus awards, exporters said. Bids from the Soviet Union

rarely are rejected by the USDA, but that does not mean a low bid won't be rejected, U.S. exporters said.

There were some ideas the Soviet Union could purchase wheat from the Great Lakes, but its bid Monday was exclusively for Gulf shipment.

Interior basis levels and f.o.b. values for Gulf wheat had not reacted widely to Monday's bid by the Soviets, exporters said. However, values were expected to increase as supplies tighten for U.S. wheat in export positions.

Credit concerns remained about the Soviet Union's ability to pay for U.S. grain, and its purchase during the past week of over 1 million metric tons of U.S. corn was expected to add to its finance problems, exporters said.

Confirmation was awaited on credit requests for wheat bid Monday, with ideas the Soviets might be negotiating for 180- to 360-day credit.