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Sunday, 25 September 2016

Egypt pushes Moscow to lift ban on import of Egyptian plant products

RUSSIA IS DRIVING HARD BARGAIN on plant export ban. We can buy all the Russian wheat we want, but that doesn’t seem to impress Russia’s food safety watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor, which has reportedly said it could substitute imports from Morocco, Syria and Iran for Egyptian plant products in a sign that it is continuing to play hardball Al Borsa reports. This comes despite Trade Minister Tarek Kabil holding extensive talks with his Russian counterpart on Friday, promising to ensure that Egypt’s exports meet with international standards, according to the newspaper. A delegation of Egyptian officials is also sitting down with Russian officials today — a day earlier than initially planned — to push for lifting the ban, Al Mal reports.

Kuwait is getting in on the act, having imposed a requirement that imports of Egyptian strawberries be accompanied by a certificate certifying they’ve been tested and are fit for human consumption. Ahram Gate also says samples of Egyptian products currently in Kuwaiti markets will be tested. Egypt’s exports to Kuwait are estimated to be around USD 450 mn annually, almost half of which are agricultural products. Kuwait now joins Russia, Sudan, the US, the UAE, Jordan and previously Saudi Arabia in investigating, restricting or outright banning imports of Egyptian agriculture products.

Thank God for China: It’s not all bad news, as Egypt will begin exporting grapes to China next month provided an export agreement is “soon” signed as expected, the Agricultural Export Council’s Moustafa El Naggary told Al Mal. New Zealand and Australia are also expected to sign-up for Egyptian grape exports by year’s end, he added.

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