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Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Ergot troubles could be making a comeback

Ergot troubles could be making a comeback: Egypt rejected yesterday a 63k tonne shipment of French wheat, saying it contained higher levels of ergot than is legally allowed, sources close to the matter told Reuters. Egypt’s state tender rules and international standards allow for ergot levels of up to 0.05%, but the shipment was found to contain 0.1%, according to the sources. The shipment, which arrived at Safaga port last week, has not been offloaded but the supplier has filed a request to redo the test.

Background: Egypt had instituted a zero-tolerance policy for ergot in wheat shipments in 2016, throwing a wrench in the global wheat market and causing widespread headaches for industry players as traders were reluctant to participate in tenders by the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC). The disruptions also drove prices on Egypt’s wheat tenders higher. Following months of flip-flopping, the Higher Administrative Court decided last May to strike down the zero-tolerance policy, allowing imports with up to 0.05% ergot contamination.

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