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Egypt team to visit India for possible wheat buy
CAIRO , An Egyptian delegation will visit India early next month to inspect wheat facilities and make a recommendation about importing Indian grain, a senior Indian official in Cairo said on Monday.
"An Egyptian delegation will travel to India to look at the possibility of Egypt importing Indian wheat," Vishnu Prakash, head of the economic section at the Indian embassy in Cairo, told Reuters.
"They will look at the facilities and then make a recommendation," he said, adding the trip would take place in the first week of October.
Prakash said the composition of the delegation had yet to be decided but it would be "empowered" to discuss purchase prices and quantities. Egyptian wheat officials were not immediately available for comment.
Although the types of wheat Egypt might want to import from India had not been decided, Prakash said India could supply all types of soft and hard wheat Egypt was interested in.
Egyptian Prime Minister Atef Obeid discussed possible wheat imports from India with its ambassador to Cairo on Monday.
"We discussed the possibility of Egypt importing wheat requirements from India on a long-term basis," Indian ambassador to Egypt Satnam Jit Singh told reporters after a meeting with Obeid that was also attended by Supply Minister Hassan Khidr.
Although Egyptian quarantine authorities said in April that Indian wheat was fit for imports, India has yet to make substantial sales to Egypt, one of the world's biggest wheat buyers.
A recent report by the US Agriculture Department's attache in Cairo said Egypt imported a total of 5.6 million tonnes of wheat in the 2002/03 marketing year.
Of that, only 28,000 tonnes came from India.
Egypt, which buys up to seven million tonnes of wheat annually, traditionally favours US grain but has expressed interest in diversifying the origins of its grain.
MGR Archive 30.9.2003
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Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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