Egypt Considers Extending Exception for French Wheat With High Moisture Levels

Egypt’s General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) is considering extending the exception for importing high-moisture level French wheat beyond August, state agency MENA said on Sunday.

GASC procures strategic commodities for the Egyptian state, the world’s largest importer of wheat.

The moisture level of French wheat ranges between 13 and 13.5 percent, which is higher than the percentage deemed acceptable by Egypt.

Higher moisture means less flour can be extracted from the wheat.

GASC has allowed the import of French wheat with up to 13.5 percent moisture, so long as French traders pay a fine. This exception was due to expire at the end of August.

Mamdouh Abdel Fattah, the vice president of GASC told MENA that the purpose of potential extension is to diversify sources of wheat.

Since the beginning of this fiscal year, which started in July, Egypt has bought 120,000 tonnes of wheat from Russia, 60,000 tonnes from Ukraine 60,000 tonnes from Romania.

In the first three quarters of the previous fiscal year, Egyptian imports of wheat were worth $1.63 billion, according to the most recently available figures by Egypt’s central bank.