Fun­gus dis­pute threat­ens wheat im­ports

Business monthly (Egypt) - - IN BRIEF -

The Egypt Agri­cul­tural Quar­an­tine Au­thor­ity’s new zero-tol­er­ance pol­icy for the er­got fun­gus has sent rip­ples through the global wheat trade. The Au­thor­ity re­fused to ac­cept wheat ship­ments that fall within guide­lines set by wheat-buy­ing agency GASC af­ter traces of the fun­gus were found on a 63,000-tonne De­cem­ber ship­ment of wheat from France. The traces were in-line with in­ter­na­tional stan­dards as well as Egypt’s pre­vi­ous pol­icy of al­low­ing up to a 0.05-per­cent level of the fun­gus, which can be harm­ful in large quan­ti­ties. Af­ter rein­spect­ing the ship­ment, agri­cul­tural of­fi­cials stood firm on bar­ring the en­try of any grain con­tain­ing er­got. Egypt is the world’s largest im­porter of wheat, and the stale­mate be­tween GASC and agri­cul­ture au­thor­i­ties has rocked the en­tire wheat trade, Reuters re­ported, with traders say­ing the pol­icy could drive up Egypt’s im­ported wheat costs. Ac­cord­ing to Bloomberg, Egyp­tian au­thor­i­ties have cleared two ship­ments of wheat from Ar­gentina, the first time in three years the South Amer­i­can coun­try has sup­plied Egypt with grain. One wheat sup­plier told Bloomberg that while he can­not guar­an­tee that Ar­gentina is er­got free, the fun­gus has not been found in lo­cal crops for “many, many years.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Egypt

© PressReader. All rights reserved.