July 10, 2009

Egypt reaches accord with Russia, France on wheat inspection

Egypt reached an agreement with Russia and France that wheat exports heading for Egypt would be inspected, Egyptian state-run television reported on Thursday (July 9), citing the Egyptian minister of trade. The agreement follows a controversy over contaminated Russian wheat.


Channel One said on its news ticker that an agreement had been reached, but it didn't provide further details. It couldn't be reached for comment.


The Egyptian Ministry of Trade said it couldn't immediately comment on the report.


Egypt may now be more likely to tender for Russian wheat.


"Egypt is likely to tender for Russian wheat next time after this news," an Egypt-based trader told Dow Jones.


Egypt is one of the world's largest wheat importers. Its imports have been at the centre of controversy since May, when Egyptian authorities quarantined 52,501 tonnes of Russian wheat imported by Egyptian Traders, an Egyptian trading company.


The shipment was quarantined after impurities were found in the wheat.


As the state wheat buyer, GASC tenders for wheat on the international market and receives bids from local and international companies, which buy the wheat, import it for delivery contracted to GASC, and receive payment from GASC.