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Wheat suppliers shun Egypt as more grain rejected abroad
(Reuters)-Egypt was unable to garner a single offer from wheat suppliers at its state grain tender on Friday, forcing it to cancel and raising renewed questions about its ability to tap global wheat markets while maintaining a ban on ergot fungus.
Friday’s cancellation comes amid a flurry of cargoes either rejected or held from export since Egypt reinstated a zero tolerance policy on ergot last month and applied it retroactively to all outstanding contracts.
Ergot is a common grains fungus that can cause hallucinations when consumed in large amounts but is considered harmless in low quantities.
Egypt is the world’s largest purchaser of wheat, on which it depends to run a bread subsidy program that feeds tens of millions of its citizens and which may suffer if the zero ergot policy continues to block access to global grains.
This week a 60,000-tonne Russian wheat shipment was rejected at Novorossiisk after weeks of inspection. It was the second such GASC purchase which failed to make it past the port of origin following a 63,000 ton Romanian cargo that fell through at Constanta earlier this month.
Both cargoes were contracted under the previous, less strict ergot rules that allowed for up to 0.05 percent in shipments, a common international standard that state grain buyer, GASC, had adhered to until last month’s change.
Russia, one of Egypt’s largest wheat suppliers, said on Friday it would ban the import of Egyptian fruit and vegetables after its regulatory watchdog said that the produce had violated international norms, without specifying.
Zaytiat port receives 11,500 tons of butane gas
Egypt’s Zaytiat port at the Suez canal received on Friday two ships carrying 11,500 tons of butane gas, spokesman for the Red Sea ports authority Malak Youssef was quoted by Youm7.
The ships came from the Saudi port of Yanbu, he said. Egypt imports more than 50 percent of its butane, mainly from Algeria, Libya and Saudi Arabia.
The butane gas is bottled in cylinders at the country’s 48 butane gas filling factories.
EU wheat consolidates, Egypt deadlock a focus
(Reuters) – Western European wheat markets were steady on Friday as reluctant selling by farmers offset pressure from hefty global supplies and uncertainty created over import terms in Egypt, the world’s biggest wheat buyer.
December milling wheat on Paris-based Euronext was unchanged on the day at 158.75 euros a tonne by 1452 GMT.
The Euronext benchmark was set to post a small 0.50 euro gain over the week after recovering from a two-month low of 157.25 euros at the start of the week.
CME Group’s December EU wheat was up 0.50 euro, or 0.3 percent, at 160.50 euros a tonne, as it neared the end of its first week of trading.