Egypt to import 180,000 tons of Russian wheat despite price hikes
Bassem Abo Alabass, Monday 8 Aug 2011
Russia still has the best offers despite recent rises, says the head of Egypt's state-run commodity buyer, as the authority's search for an alternative proves fruitless

Egypt has ordered three-quarters of its latest wheat shipment from Russia, despite efforts to find alternative sources after prices for Moscow-sold grain climbed almost 5 per cent in less than a month.

The latest tender on 4 August saw Egypt commit to buying 240,000 tons of wheat, with 75 per cent of it shipping from Russia.

"We will import about 180,000 tons of wheat from Russia because it still has the best offers despite the price hikes," Nomani Nomani, head of the state-run General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), told Ahram Online.

Around 10 countries joined the tender, including Russia, the US, Australia, Romania, France and Germany.

Nomani stated that the remaining 25 per cent of the order -- some 60,000 tons -- would come from Romania.

Russian wheat prices are continuing their rise.

"The average price per ton is US$287 which is 11.4 per cent higher than the last tender," Nomani said.

The authority paid up to $255.25 per ton for Russian wheat at the previous tender on 29 July, while it paid $243.5 on 7 July, the first opportunity to purchase it after a yearlong ban on exports.

Russia accounted for more than half of Egypt’s wheat imports before it barred all outbound cereal shipments in August 2010.

Russia may harvest 54 million metric tons of wheat in the year that began 1 July, up from 41.5 million a year earlier, according to the US Department of Agriculture.