Russia can not exempt wheat exports to Egypt from tax: Russian ministry

Reuters and Ahram Online, Thursday 12 Feb 2015

File Photo: Wheat
File Photo: Wheat (Photo: Reuters)

Russia will not be able to exempt wheat exports to Egypt from export taxes, the Russian agriculture ministry was quoted by Reuters as saying on Thursday.

Egypt's government announced a day earlier it was negotiating an exemption during Vladimir Putin's visit to the country.

Egyptian Minister of International Trade and Industry Mounir Fakhry Abdel-Nour said in a press release that he had agreed with Russia's agriculture minister to send a delegation of experts to Moscow in the next few weeks to negotiate a trade agreement that ensures the supply of specific quantities of Russian wheat and excludes Egypt from Russian export tariffs.

Any exemptions would have to be implemented for other countries, the Russian agriculture ministry told Reuters.

A deal is expected to be signed in April after talks in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm Al-Sheikh, Abdel-Nour said, with the agreement slated to come into effect on 1 June.

Egypt, the second-largest buyer of Russian wheat, has been hit by Moscow's curbs on grain exports as the Kremlin seeks to cool domestic prices amid an economic crisis.

The informal curbs have already meant that Russian supplies intended for Egypt's state grain buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), have missed deadlines on previously agreed contracts.

An export tax was introduced on 1 February, with the duty on wheat exports set at 15 percent of the customs price plus 7.5 euros but will be no less than 35 euros ($40) a tonne. The tax will be in effect until 30 June.

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