Egypt to Consider Resumption of Kazakh Wheat Imports, Mena Says

Egypt, the world’s largest wheat buyer, will consider resuming imports of the grain from Kazakhstan, the state-run Middle East News Agency reported, citing Reda Aggag, an advisor to Supply Minister Bassem Oda.

Oda will meet with Kazakh officials today to discuss Kazakhstan providing Egypt with imports assistance, the agency, known as Mena, said, without giving further details.

Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous nation, didn’t import any grain from the landlocked Central Asian country for the past two years, according to Mena. Kazakhstan is an approved wheat source on a list held by the state-run General Authority for Supply Commodities, which also includes Russia, France and the U.S. among others.

Egypt last imported grain from Kazakhstan in the marketing year 2009-10, when it bought 180,000 metric tons, according to Nomani Nomani, an adviser to the minister and former head of the authority. In 2011, Egypt refused to take four cargoes of Kazakh wheat because of the high recurrence of damaged seeds in them and replaced them with Russian grain, Nomani said today by phone from Cairo.

Kazakh wheat imports may only resume if Kazakhstan resolves the issue with the seeds and finds suitable ports in neighboring countries to ship the grain, Nomani added.

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