Egypt Rejects French Wheat Shipment Due To High Ergot Content
Egypt has rejected a 63,000-tonne French wheat shipment because of higher-than-acceptable levels of the common grain fungus ergot, traders said on Tuesday.
The vessel containing the French wheat has been at Egypt's Red Sea port of Safaga since last week and negotiations are underway to resolve the issue, traders said.
"They found 0.1% ergot and the acceptable level is 0.05," one source close to the matter said.
The wheat had been bought in an international tender by Egypt's General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), traders said. GASC was not immediately available for comment.
Egypt, the world's largest wheat importer, rattled the market in 2016 when it reinstated a ban on even trace levels of ergot, which can lead to hallucinations but is considered harmless at minor levels.
Internationally Recognised Standard
It later readopted an internationally recognised standard allowing up to 0.05% of ergot in wheat.
Traders said they were unaware of any further change in Egypt's ergot policy.
Egypt rejected a shipment of Romanian wheat earlier this year over a non-specified "quality issue", which traders said was related to a measure of milling quality known as falling numbers.
The country had also rejected a French wheat cargo in 2017 for containing poppy seeds.