Since the end of 2015, the nation has flip-flopped its policies regarding the fungus, first allowing 0.05% and then requiring zero tolerance for ergot.
The Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation on Sept. 27 said it has reached an agreement with SGS SA under which SGS will examine imported wheat to confirm it complies with Egyptian standards. SGS is a Geneva, Switzerland-based inspection service.
Hamed Abdel-Dayem, a spokesman for the Agriculture Ministry, told Bloomberg that SGS has been hired to examine imported wheat at origin and arrival ports. The move signals a change from the way Egypt previously handled inspections. Previously, the inspections were carried out by six Egyptian officials, including two from the quarantine department, Bloomberg said.
The General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), the state-owned grain buyer, was forced to cancel three tenders, including one issued on Sept. 18, after receiving no offers. The latest tender sought cargoes of 55,000 to 60,000 tonnes of soft and/or milling wheat for shipment from Oct. 16-26.
But there are signs business is returning to normal. After three failed tenders, Egypt’s General Authority for Supply Commodities on Sept. 22 agreed to buy four cargoes of Russian wheat totaling 240,000 tonnes.