| ABU DHABI/CAIRO, April 10
ABU DHABI/CAIRO, April 10 Two wheat cargoes
purchased by top global wheat buyer Egypt are stuck at Russia's
Novorossiisk port, after the trade house selling the grain had
problems opening the importer's letters of credit, traders said.
Egypt's state wheat buyer the General Authority for Supply
Commodities (GASC) bought the two 60,000-tonne shipments from
global commodities trader Cargill in a Feb. 27 tender
for March 15-31 shipment.
Cargill declined to comment and GASC was not immediately
Traders do not usually ship wheat until they have opened
importers' letters of credit.
Three traders focused on the Egyptian wheat market said the
delay was a banking issue and was not linked to any financing
difficulties at GASC.
An Egyptian government source with knowledge of the issue
confirmed the delay in opening letters of credit and said the
two ships were in Novorossiisk.
Although traders said the problem could soon be resolved as
it seems to be an isolated incident, the mounting financial
penalties against GASC for the shipments' delayed departure are
a blow for the government grain buyer.
Egypt will spend around 32 billion Egyptian pounds ($4.6
billion) in the fiscal year ending June on its subsidised bread
programme that feeds millions of poor Egyptians.
GASC has purchased 4.7 million tonnes so far in the current
2013/14 season which ends on June 30. The Supplies Minister told
reporters earlier this week that he expected GASC to issue
another international tender for wheat purchases before the
local harvest begins next week.
Traders said that the three other suppliers to GASC in the
Feb. 27 tender have successfully opened their letters of credit.
(Additional reporting by Sarah McFarlane in London and Nadia
El-Gowely in Cairo; Editing by Veronica Brown and Anthony