Egypt decided to exclude one of the top suppliers from the country’s list of approved sellers after multiple delays in the delivery of wheat cargoes.
Egypt is the world’s largest wheat importer. Wheat imports in fiscal year (FY) 2016-2017 are estimated at 11.5m tonnes—about the same as the previous year—and about 1m above average for the last five years.
According to Reuters, Egypt said in May that Dubai-based AOS had failed to deliver on two 60,000 tonne shipments, even after offering extensions, and it later cancelled one of them.
The country is dependent on its wheat supply to run the bread subsidy programme, which is estimated to benefit almost 70 million citizens of Egypt’s 90 million population.
Also, on Wednesday, Egypt cabinet announced the approval of the purchase of 120,000 tonnes of wheat previously awarded by its state grain buyer the General Authority For Supply Commodities (GASC).
AOS fulfilled about 20% of Egypt’s annual wheat imports needs, including providing 700,000 tonnes per year to state-buyer the GASC, the company’s chairman said last November.
Egypt is expected to import about 12.5m tonnes of wheat in the coming fiscal year 2018/2019, according to a report by the US Department of Agriculture.