GASC buys 60,000 tonnes of wheat from Ukraine

May 17, 2014 - 12:00:00 am

ABU DHABI: Egypt, one of the world’s largest importers of wheat, bought 60,000 tonnes of Ukrainian wheat for shipment from June 20 to 30, the main government wheat-buying entity said yesterday.

Mamdouh Abdel Fattah, vice-chairman of the General Authority of Supply Commodities (GASC), said the  price of the purchase was $302.49 a tonne on a cost and freight basis.

Traders said the free-on-board price was $289 a tonne and the freight from National Navigation company was $13.49 a tonne.

Apart from the accepted offer by Venus, the only other offer in Friday’s tender was from Glencore for French wheat. Bunge also tried to offer wheat in the tender but was disqualified because of what some traders said was an administrative issue with its letter of guarantee.

The problem was that Bunge used an old format to issue its letter of guarantee which was a technical error, one European trader said.

The low number of offers for the tender was partly blamed on an end of season for most crops but some traders also said they were nervous about payment problems that have recently surfaced with Egyptian state tenders.

“The low number of offers is partly because of payment worries and also it is the tail-end of old crop, with fewer supplies which would meet GASC’s specifications, especially on bug damage,” one European trader said. Traders complained this month that GASC and other state food buying entities in Egypt had delayed the issuance of letters of credit for the purchased commodities.