Market News & Headlines >> Egypt Reversal Roils Wheat Market

Egypt’s reinstatement on Sunday of a zero-tolerance policy on the common fungus ergot in wheat import shipments has thrown the world wheat export market into turmoil again. 

The news was a big surprise for wheat traders after Egypt’s initial enforcement of a zero-tolerance for ergot early this year led many exporters to boycott its import tenders and forced it to pay higher prices. 

The return to zero-tolerance on ergot caused exporters to avoid a new import tender from Egypt’s main official wheat buyer GASC (General Authority for Supply Commodities). GASC cancelled the tender on Wednesday after receiving only one offer for 55,000 metric tons of Ukrainian wheat. 

Exporters say it is nearly impossible to guarantee zero ergot content in wheat shipments.  Egypt had returned to a 0.5% ergot tolerance policy in July, in line with the common international standard.