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Egypt Says Deal for Indian Wheat Stands, but Not Shipped Yet


Asharq Al-Awsat


Egypt's supply minister said on Monday an agreement to buy wheat from India still stood despite recent curbs on Indian exports, although the grain had not yet been shipped.
India, the world's second biggest producer of wheat, banned private overseas sales of the grain on May 14 after a scorching heat wave curtailed output and domestic prices hit a record high.
"We have an agreement on quantity and price - 180,000 tons of wheat, and price was $400 per ton," supply minister Aly Moselhy told reporters on the sidelines of a news conference, adding that the wheat hadn't left India.
Moselhy said in May that the export curbs would not apply to its deal with India.
Egypt, one of the world's biggest wheat importers, has in recent years purchased much of its grain from the Black Sea, but has sought to diversify import origins following disruptions by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
"You know the strong heat wave that happened in India and that affected next year's harvest, so it's natural that they would want to keep their own supply. It's their right," said Moselhy. "But to be honest our cargo is at the port."
Egypt said it had contracted to buy 180,000 wheat from India in June.
In remarks to Al Arabiya TV, the minister also said the International Monetary Fund understood the difficulty the government faced in addressing the subsidy on bread, which remains in place for now.
The IMF said in July it was continuing discussions with Egypt aimed at agreeing an extended fund facility that would support economic policies and reforms.

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