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Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Could France soon replace Russia as our prime wheat supplier?

French wheat could be filling the Russia-shaped hole in Egypt’s import quota: Swiss commodities giant Glencore made the lowest offer in GASC’s international wheat tender yesterday, the first since the state grain buyer canceled a tender in response to possible export restrictions on Russian wheat, Reuters reports. The firm offered to ship 60k tonnes of French wheat at USD 269.10 each. GASC is buying 240k tonnes of French wheat — half of the total amount the grain buyer ordered, Al Masry Al Youm reports, and is also said to be looking into sourcing from Canada and the United States.

So long, old friend? Russia’s new USD 60.18 per tonne tax on all wheat exports, which is set to go into effect by March, has given French suppliers a competitive edge over our long-time trade partners. Russian wheat constituted 80% of Egypt’s purchases last season, with 2.5 mn tonnes bought as of August 2020. The decision to levy higher taxes on the part of Russian officials comes as part of a protectionist bid to boost the country’s local supply and stabilize prices. GASC nonetheless ordered 120k tonnes of Russian wheat in yesterday’s tender.

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