Market News & Headlines >> Egypt Reverses Wheat Import Policy Again

Egypt has abandoned its latest effort to enforce a zero tolerance rule on ergot fungus in wheat import shipments after the policy caused exporters to boycott Egyptian import tenders and created trade tensions with Russia, its largest wheat supplier. 

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Egypt’s cabinet said the tolerance level for ergot in wheat import shipments would immediately revert back to the internationally accepted level of 0.05%. The decision applies to all outstanding and future wheat sales, the statement said. 

The cabinet statement also said that Egypt would contract with an international firm to inspect wheat import shipments for ergot. 

Since Egypt reinstated its zero tolerance policy on ergot on Aug. 28, Egypt’s main official wheat buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) has cancelled three consecutive import tenders due to a lack of exporter participation. Exporters say it is impossible for anyone to guarantee ergot-free wheat. 

The zero-tolerance policy was applied retroactively to cargos purchased under the 0.05% tolerance rule, resulting in the rejection of several previously contracted cargos.