Egypt purchases 465,000 tons of wheat from Russia, Bulgaria and Romania

Ahram Online , Thursday 2 Jun 2022

Egypt’s General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) announced on Wednesday that it has signed a contract to purchase 465,000 tons of wheat from Russia, Bulgaria and Romania in what is reportedly the country’s largest wheat purchase since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in late February.

FILE - Farmers harvest with their combines in a wheat field near the village Tbilisskaya, Russia, Ju
FILE - Farmers harvest with their combines in a wheat field near the village Tbilisskaya, Russia, July 21, 2021. China repeated calls for talks to resolve the crisis in Ukraine on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022, while refusing to criticize Russia’s attack, and in a move that could help reduce the impact of Western sanctions against Moscow, approved imports of Russian wheat. AP


According to GASC, it purchased in an international tender 175,000 tons from Russia, 240,000 tons from Romania and 50,000 tons from Bulgaria.

The purchase from Russia will be shipped from 20 to 31 July and the wheat from Romania will be shipped between 1 and 10 August, GASC said in its statement.

According to wheat traders who spoke with Reuters, the wheat quantities were purchased at cost of $480 per ton, an increase of 41 percent from Egypt’s last purchase from before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Egypt, one of the world’s biggest wheat importer, received 80 percent of its wheat imports from Russia and Ukraine last year due to its high quality and competitive pricing and the two countries’ geographical proximity.

In media statements on Wednesday, Yasser Tawfik, the head of the Procurement and Storage Sector at the Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade’s Holding Company for Silos,  revealed that Egypt is awaiting the arrival of five cargo ships carrying wheat imported to four countries.

The cargo ships are arriving in the first week of June from Bulgaria (55,000 tons), France (63,000 tons), and Russia (63,000 tons), and a Ukrainian cargo ship that departed from Bulgaria is on its way to Egypt.

There is also an Egyptian cargo ship that has not yet departed Ukraine.  

Egypt imports 12 to 13 million tons of wheat per year, according to the Observatory of Economic Complexity in 2020 – an online data visualisation platform focused on the geography and dynamics of economic activities across the globe.

The government has announced that it is diversifying its import sources from a new list of countries, at the top of which is India, which has exempted Egypt from its recent wheat export ban.

In the first week of May, Egypt signed a deal to import 61,500 tons of Indian wheat.

Egypt is expected to source around 6 million tons of wheat this season – around 2.5 million more than in 2021.

According to the Egyptian Cabinet, Egypt has a strategic reserve of wheat that can cover domestic consumption for four months.

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