Egypt eyes Georgia port to ship Kazakh wheat
Cairo, June 3, 2012
Egypt, the world's biggest wheat importer, said on Sunday it was looking to use Georgia's Poti port for shipments of Kazakh wheat once the port is upgraded to receive Panamax ships carrying shipments of 55-60,000 tonnes.
Nomani Nomani, vice chairman of the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), told Reuters that the upgrade at Poti port should took place within a year according to Georgian officials.
"Once the port is ready to receive Panamax ships, GASC will approve this port as one of the seaports for shipments of Kazakh wheat," Nomani said.
Nomani and Egyptian maritime officials visited Georgia late last month to discuss wheat shipments to Egypt through Poti port.
Nomani added that Poti port would be equipped within two months to receive handysize ships carrying shipments of around 24-30,000 tonne shipments for the private sector.
Egypt consumes around 14 million tonnes of wheat annually and imports around half of that amount.
Since the start of the 2011/12 fiscal year last July, GASC's purchases have been dominated by Black Sea origin wheat.
GASC has bought 3.24 million tonnes of Russian wheat, 360,000 tonnes of Ukrainian wheat, 180,000 tonnes of Romanian wheat, 60,000 tonnes of Russian, Ukrainian or Kazakh wheat at the seller's option and 60,000 tonnes of Russian or Kazakh wheat at the seller's option since the beginning of July.
It also bought 300,000 tonnes of French wheat, 300,000 tonnes of Argentine wheat, 530,000 tonnes of U.S. soft red winter wheat and 60,000 tonnes of Canadian wheat.
In the fiscal year that ended on June 30 last year, GASC purchased some 5.58 million tonnes of French, U.S., Canadian, Australian and Argentine wheat. – Reuters