Egypt chooses wheat from Russia, reducing imports in 2022

CAIRO, Jan 12 (Reuters) – Egypt relied heavily on Russian wheat imports last year despite a sharp drop in grain imports and a diversification of wheat suppliers, data obtained by Reuters showed.

Even though Egyptian wheat imports from Russia fell by 6.7% in 2022, Russia’s share, including purchases by the Egyptian Grain Authority and the private sector, rose to 57% from 50% in 2021.

This is partly due to lower supplies from Ukraine, which provided 8.9% of Egyptian wheat imports in 2022, down from 28% in 2021.

Egyptian merchants and officials say that the choice in favor of Russian goods was due to a better price, calculated in dollars.

“The point, of course, is the price. We tender, we check the cost of FBO and freight, and then we buy – regardless of origin,” Supply Minister Ali Moselhi told Reuters last week.

While traders have reported some payment difficulties due to sanctions against Russia that have prompted banks to ask for additional paperwork, Russian wheat currently remains the most competitive, with an Egyptian state customer purchasing over 2 million tons in recent months.

“Russian wheat dominates despite all the problems associated with rising ship insurance costs and winter weather in the Black Sea,” said one European trader.

The original message in English is available at the code: (Sarah El Safty and Michael Hogan)

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