Egypt denies halting French wheat imports

Sherif Tarek , Wednesday 25 Oct 2017

Egypt's General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) has rejected media reports claiming that wheat imports from France have been temporarily halted.

According to GASC, Egypt imported 180,000 tons of French wheat in 2016/2017, and 60,000 tons so far in the current fiscal year, which began in July.

The state grain buyer stressed that French wheat exporters have not stopped lodging bids.

The world's biggest wheat importer threw the international grains market into confusion in 2015 by rejecting a cargo that contained the common wheat fungus ergot, triggering a row over policy in Cairo that is still simmering and worrying traders.

Egypt's agricultural ministry said last month its quarantine authority was examining seeds in the French cargo, Reuters reported. If they prove to be poppy seeds, the ministry spokesman said, “a decision will be taken to reject the shipment and transfer the case to the general prosecutor."

Egypt will issue a streamlined guide on wheat imports within two weeks that will detail all specifications, procedures, and regulations for traders selling to the world’s largest buyer, Supply Minister Ali Moselhy told Reuters on Wednesday.


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