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Wheat crisis for Egyptian ports

Egyptian authorities have rejected several wheat consignments because of claims that they contained poppy seeds, which are strictly banned in the country in any form.

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A vessel carrying wheat from Romania was rejected by officials at the Egyptian bulk port of Safaga. A second consignment, of 59,000t, which was being imported by Casillo Commodities on a freeon-board basis, was rejected at the same port. Safaga is located south of Hurghada on the Red Sea coast. Apart from wheat imports, it also handles phosphate exports
In both cases, the authorities in the ports of origin insist that their inspections revealed no problems. The French consignment was checked by Intertek at the Port of La Pallice. It has been suggested by some sources that any contamination may be from types of seeds that lack any narcotic properties.
However, the Egyptian quarantine agency said that the attempt to import the wheat could result in prosecution. The prices paid for wheat by Egypt’s stateowned General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) were on average
5.2% higher after the two incidents than before them, in comparison with a 1.6% rise in Chicago futures over the same period, appearing to indicate that Egypt is paying a premium because of the risk of rejection.
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