A shipment of Russian wheat destined for a private wheat buyer in Egypt and handled by international commodity trade house Cargill has been delayed at a Russian port, European traders said on Tuesday.
The Oksywe, due to carry 32,500 tons of Russian wheat to Egypt has been delayed since May 28 after Russian phytosanitary inspectors at the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk found poisonous weed seeds during routine tests, said the traders.
Traders said they did not know the identity of the private buyer but said the cargo was not intended for the state buying agency the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC).
Egypt is the world’s largest wheat importer and GASC has tightened its tender terms several times over the past year following controversy over the quality of cargoes of Russian wheat.
Trade between Egypt and Russia turned sour in May last year when Egypt’s prosecutor seized a 52,500 ton shipment of Russian wheat imported by a private local dealer after dead bugs and impurities were found in the cargo.
Other seizures followed, which raised doubts about the quality of Russian wheat as a whole, prompting top Russian officials such as the first deputy prime minister to insist that all grain sent to Egypt met quality standards.