The strategic supply of wheat will be sufficient in meeting local demands until mid-May, Minister of Supply Khaled Hanafy said Tuesday.
The General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) offered an international tender to purchase wheat. GASC cancelled the tender, however, stating that the prices it received are unsatisfactory.
“We did receive applicants for this tender but we preferred to choose from other alternatives available to us thanks to some alliances we made,” Hanafy told Daily News Egypt on the sidelines of the Capital Market conference.
The low number of applicants in the recent tender was due to the recent 63,000-tonne shipment Egypt rejected from France, which was scheduled to be delivered between 2 and 11 March. The shipment had traces of ergot fungus above an acceptable limit, deemed the Ministry of Health.
GASC, Egypt’s state grain buyer, adheres to different regulations regarding the level of ergot fungus, permitting shipments of wheat with a 0.05% trace amount.
Vice President of GASC Mamdouh Abdel Fattah previously told Daily News Egypt that the shipment was approved and permitted by the Ministry of Health on 30 December 2015.
He said the quantities of wheat, which are imported, should be approved by the tripartite committee of General Organisation for Export and Import Control (GOEIC) at the Ministry of Industry, which is composed of members from the Ministry of Agriculture, GOEIC, and the Ministry of Health.
The decision to cancel the shipment has resulted in uproar among traders, who have threatened to boycott the GASC tenders.
Regarding the timing of the next tender, Hanafy said it has yet to be scheduled and will depend on the demand and prices.
Egypt is the largest importer of wheat worldwide.