Egypt's GASC buys 235,000 tonnes Ukrainian, Russian, French wheat

Reuters, Tuesday 11 Sep 2012

State commodity buyer makes sixth international wheat purchase since the start of the 2012/13 fiscal year

Egypt, the world's largest wheat importer, has bought 235,000 tonnes of Ukrainian, Russian and French wheat for 11-20 November shipment on a free on board bases, the main government wheat buyer said on Tuesday.

Nomani Nomani, Vice Chairman of the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), gave the following breakdown of the purchases: 
55,000 tonnes of Ukrainian wheat from Venus at $337/tonne with freight costs of $15.20 per tonne -- 60,000 tonnes of Russian wheat from Glencore at $343.89/tonne with freight costs of $11.49 per tonne -- 60,000 tonnes of French wheat from Louis Dreyfus at $347.25/tonne with freight costs of $15.65 -- 60,000 tonnes of French wheat from Granit at $347.25/tonne with freight costs of $15.65
It was GASC's sixth international wheat purchase since the 1 July start of the 2012/2013 fiscal year in what traders say are moves to secure supplies in case drought-hit Russia imposes any export restrictions.
GASC made an unusually large purchase - 475,000 tonnes - at a single tender last week, mostly from Russia, whose government has said it would not restrict exports, even if its exportable surplus is exhausted. Many traders believe some sort of export curbs are likely beginning as early as October or November.
Rising Russian wheat prices have nearly depleted its competitive edge in the world wheat market. Some traders have said before today's tender results were announced that this could prompt GASC to start buying European or U.S. wheat soon.
"The Egyptian tender is illustrating a radical change in global grains markets, with concerns about Russian wheat exports starting to reduce the presence of Russian wheat in the market even though no export restrictions have actually been announced," a German trader said.
"Russian wheat dominated the Egyptian purchases in the first round of Egyptian tenders this summer with hardly any offers of French or western EU wheat," the trader said. "Now, because of concerns about Russian export restrictions hardly any Russian wheat is being offered to Egypt and French is dominating."
During the 2011/12 fiscal year, GASC's purchases were dominated by Black Sea origin wheat.
GASC purchased 3.24 million tonnes of Russian wheat, 180,000 tonnes of Romanian wheat, 360,000 tonnes of Ukrainian wheat, 60,000 tonnes of Russian, Ukraine or Kazakh wheat at the seller's option and 60,000 tonnes of Russian or Kazakh wheat at the seller's option during the 2011/12 fiscal year.
It also bought 300,000 tonnes of French wheat and 300,000 tonnes of Argentine wheat as well as 530,000 tonnes of U.S. soft red winter wheat and 60,000 tonnes of Canadian wheat.
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