Market News & Headlines >> Egypt Tries to Soothe Wheat Trade

Egypt’s government is trying to win back the confidence of the world wheat trade after its main state importer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), had to cancel two wheat import tenders last week amid uncertainty over allowed levels of ergot fungus. 

On Sunday, Egypt’s ministries of supply and agriculture denied there was any disagreement between them, affirming in a joint press conference that they would accept all wheat shipments containing less than 0.05% ergot, a common global standard that has been used for past GASC tenders. 

The Supply Ministry and GASC had previously assured suppliers that the 0.05% ergot tolerance still applied to GASC tenders, however, the Agriculture Ministry in late January said that it would enforce a zero tolerance for ergot in import shipments. 

Egypt last week rejected a shipment of French wheat for the second time due to ergot contamination. The supply and agriculture ministries say the shipment was rejected because contained a higher level of ergot than the 0.05% standard, but grain traders have previously said the ergot content of the French wheat was well under that tolerance level. 

GASC canceled a wheat import tender last Tuesday after receiving no offers from exporters and cancelled a second tender on Friday after receiving only four offers.