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GASC tightens wheat quality specifications
Published in Daily News Egypt on 02 - 09 - 2009

CAIRO: Egypt s main state wheat buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), said on Wednesday it had tightened some quality specifications for its wheat purchases.
GASC raised the test weight requirement for US wheat to 58.5 lb a bushel from 58 lb/bushel and its minimum protein content requirement by half a percentage point to 9.5 percent, vice chairman Nomani Nomani told Reuters.
This is just a normal procedure to try to make specifications for US origin equal to what we demand of other origins, Nomani said.
Egypt, the world s top wheat importer, requires a minimum protein content of 11.5 percent for Russian wheat and 11 percent for French wheat, Nomani said.
GASC also spelt out a maximum cadmium and lead content of 0.2 percent and set pesticide and fumigation residues at a maximum of 0.1 percent for wheat of all origins.
The new tender terms also state bids should take into account the rules and regulations of the Egyptian quarantine services.
This is not a new specification, it is just making things clearer by spelling out some of the details that are in the Egyptian quality specification document, Nomani said.
The debate in Egypt over wheat quality became politically heated after the government rejected two Russian wheat shipments earlier this year over quality concerns.
The government questioned the quality of the shipments and the authenticity of an import document after local grain importer Egyptian Traders Co. brought the two cargoes into the country in mid-May. The firm has said the document was valid.
The chairman of Egyptian Traders was detained for questioning and is still being held, and two GASC employees have been temporarily suspended from their jobs until the investigation ends.


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