Will Egypt Resume Imports of Russian Wheat?


The following article if from Bloomberg:

Egypt, the world’s biggest wheat importer, will wait until Russia’s harvest starts in August to decide whether to resume buying the grain from the eastern European country.

Yields, prices and a proposed duty on Russian grain exports will govern the decision by the General Authority for Supply Commodities, Egypt’s state wheat buyer, Vice Chairman Nomani Nomani said by telephone today.

Russia, which supplied Egypt with more than half of its imported wheat in the marketing year through June 2010, barred all cereal exports last August as a drought seared fields. The ban will expire as scheduled on July 1, Russia’s government said last month.

“We have been getting the best types of wheat from Russia last year and the year before,” Nomani said. “Were it not for the emergency last year, we would have continued to deal with the Russians. But last year the Russians failed to ship some quantities that were agreed upon even before the ban came into effect, and that is why I am wary of the Russian side.”

Wheat shipments totaling 690,000 metric tons, including 210,000 tons with delivery dates before the ban took effect, never reached Egypt last year, according to Nomani. The measure prompted Egypt to drop Russia from the list of countries approved as sources of imported wheat.

“When we are sure that the Russian side is stable, we will re-include it in the official list of origin countries,” Nomani said. “We do not encourage purchases from one origin country or another. Our aim is diversification of origins.”

The authority buys between 5 million and 6 million tons of wheat a year on behalf of the government via international tenders because local production is too low to meet demand in the Arab world’s most populous nation, which has about 80 million people. The grain is used to make subsidized bread.

Source:  Bloomberg

Posted by Haylie Shipp


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