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Egypt unlikely to buy Indian rice after it fails cooking test - sources

DUBAI (Reuters) - All Indian rice samples offered in Egypt’s first international rice buying tender for 2018 have failed a cooking test required for approval of purchases, three trade sources with direct knowledge of the matter said on Thursday.

All Chinese rice samples were accepted, while one Vietnamese rice sample was accepted and the other rejected, they said.

Egypt, previously a rice exporter, is estimated to need about 500,000 tonnes of imported rice this season as it reduces local production to save water. It has purchased Indian rice in the past.

“There have been Indian sales before to Egypt in past years so this is an unexpected result and we don’t know exactly how these cooking tests were conducted,” one source said.

“The result means Egypt will be highly dependent on China at least for this tender,” he said.

The samples were tested by a research centre which falls under the Agriculture Ministry.

Egypt’s state grain buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), which falls under the Supply Ministry, is handling the purchase tender.

GASC and Agriculture Ministry officials were not immediately available to comment. GASC has yet to announce the results of its rice tender.

A total of 11 suppliers submitted samples and offers to GASC for testing and sales, traders have said.

GASC is seeking short or medium grain milled white rice of any origin in the tender and has asked traders to submit 2 kg samples of their grains for a cooking test.

Reporting by Maha El Dahan; Editing by Michael Hogan and Edmund Blair