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Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Sudan has imposed a blanket ban on imports of Egyptian agricultural and animal product

Sudan has imposed a blanket ban on imports of Egyptian agricultural and animal product: Sudan’s cabinet imposed a ban on the import of agricultural and farm products from Egypt, Sudan News Agency (SUNA) reports. The ban is “final” and customs warehouses will not receive Egyptian imports covered by the measure. The decree also stipulates that imports can no longer be inspected at dry ports, but only at the borders. “The cabinet urged the private sector to import products directly from countries of origin, bypassing Egypt. The statement did not give a reason for the decisions,” according to Reuters. Cairo was told the decision was “a technical procedure,” the Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman said, according to the newswire.

…Among the companies caught in the crossfire in this spat is Saudi Arabia’s Savola, which used to import raw sugar from Brazil, refine it in Egypt, and re-export it to Sudan. "The volumes going there are about 20,000 tonnes a month, but now unfortunately this looks like it will be stopped indefinitely," a source at the company told Reuters.

The move is the latest step in a deteriorating relationship that seems to us to be largely driven by Khartoum. Sudan first imposed restrictions on imports of Egyptian agricultural goods in September, banning other imports in March. This week saw tensions reach a new high, when Sudan’s President Omar Al Bashir accused Egypt directly of arming rebels, a charge emphatically denied by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi. Following the attack on Minya, Egyptian officials had reportedly told the AP that hitting suspected training camps in Sudan was a possibility. This culminated in Sudan’s Foreign Minister canceling a planned trip to Egypt this week.

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