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Fresh Produce

Egypt Buys Romanian Wheat As Traders See Risks After Fungus Row

Egypt’s state grain buyer purchased 60,000 metric tonnes of Romanian wheat Friday, after failing to buy twice last week when traders held back or raised prices amid confusion about how much fungus is allowed in shipments.

The General Authority for Supply Commodities said it paid $190.88 a metric tonne in the tender Friday. The cargo came from Ameropa, according to two traders familiar with the process, who asked not to be identified because they’re not allowed to speak to the media. GASC only received five offers, compared with the usual 10 to 20.

Ameropa made the lowest offer when adding freight costs, while Cargill Inc.’s offer was the cheapest excluding freight. That offer to supply French wheat was $11.29 a tonne more expensive than grain for loading at the port of Rouen, the second-biggest premium Egypt has been asked to pay since the season started in July. That highlighted the risks seen by traders in offering grain to Egypt.

The nation provides subsidized bread for its 88 million people. The country stumbled into a standoff with traders after refusing a French grain cargo supplied by Bunge Ltd. over the level of ergot, a naturally occurring fungus.

News by Bloomberg, edited by ESM. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.

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