Egypt mulls wheat imports from Kazakhstan

Egypt is considering resuming wheat imports from Kazakhstan after a two-year hiatus, an adviser to the minister of supply said in an interview with state news agency MENA on Tuesday.

Supply Minister Bassem Kamal is meeting a delegation from Kazakhstan on the matter, adviser Reda Agag said.

Egypt, the world's biggest wheat importer, had halted imports of Kazakh wheat due to the rising cost of transport from the landlocked country.

Imports from Kazakhstan were carried by rail and air to Russian and Ukrainian ports, raising the price to uncompetitive levels, Agag said, adding that the Kazakh authorities may look into providing financial assistance to Egypt.

Agag could not immediately be reached for further comment.

Cairo's main foreign suppliers are the United States, Russia and France.

Egypt needs around 9 million tons of wheat for its subsidized bread program and imports around 10 million tons a year. The country's wheat reserves fell to 2 million tons as of April 3, enough to last 81 days.

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