Global wheat prices are suffering from complicated quarantine rules by Egypt regarding the fungus ergot, effectively taking the world’s largest wheat importer out of the trade market. Facing decade -lows, global wheat prices have softened further thanks to a standstill in wheat sales to Egypt. The standstill occurred after Egypt announced last month the nation would hold a zero tolerance policy for any traces of the naturally occurring fungus ergot, despite internationally accepted standards which allow for levels of 0.05 percent. The Financial Times reports theories surrounding the reason behind the latest decision have ranged from the need to cancel contracts due to falling foreign reserves to infighting between government ministries. The official explanation from Egypt has been public safety and the potential spread of ergot due to climate change. Despite the uncertainty, trade analysts say Egypt is likely to return to the world wheat market after the nation’s domestic inventories dwindle.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.