Egypt seeks wheat as drought slashes Russian crop

Sat Jul 31, 2010 9:55am GMT

By Sherine El Madany and Karl Plume

CAIRO/CHICAGO (Reuters) - Egypt's main government wheat buyer issued an international wheat tender on Friday amid a severe drought in the Black Sea region, which has slashed production there and sent global prices soaring this month.

Wheat traders will be eagerly awaiting results of the tender, including information on origins and prices offered, to provide a glimpse into the minds of major sellers of wheat and the world's top importer.

Egypt's General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) said it wanted to buy cargoes of 60,000 tonnes of optional-origin wheat for shipment August 21-31.

Tenders should reach by noon local time (0900 GMT) on Saturday and the results should come out around 4:30 p.m. (1330 GMT) on the same day, GASC said. Wheat bids should be free-on-board, with a separate freight offer.

Nomani Nomani, vice chairman of GASC, said he was seeking cargoes of U.S. North Pacific soft white wheat, U.S. hard red wheat, U.S. soft red winter wheat, and/or Canadian soft wheat.

GASC was also seeking cargoes French milling wheat, Australian standard white wheat, Australian hard wheat, German milling wheat, Argentine bread wheat, Russian milling wheat, Kazakhstan milling wheat, Romanian wheat and/or UK milling wheat (ukp or uks variety).

The worst drought in decades in the Black Sea region has slashed wheat production in Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Russia, the region's top producer and exporter.

GASC has purchased at least one cargo of Russian wheat in each of its tenders going back to October 2009.   Continued...

<p>An unidentified government official sits on sacks of wheat donated by the U.S. at a food distribution point near Jijiga, eastern Ethiopia December 1, 2009. REUTERS/Barry Malone</p>
  • Africa
  • US
  • Europe
  • Asia
UK £ USD =1.2617
Euro USD =1.1124
Rand USD =0.0764