Egypt looking into paying for Russian wheat in roubles
None of the Russian grain exporters were aware of this proposal for Egypt and some of them doubted that the project would be viable
Egypt, the world's largest wheat importer, is studying a proposal put forward by some Russian grain exporters to pay for Russian wheat in roubles, the country's supply minister said on Monday.
"It was a suggestion made on their part and it is being studied," Khaled Hanafi told Reuters.
The proposal comes days before Russia launches a new wheat export tax, which traders say could threaten profits on advance contracts for the new crop if the rouble weakens in coming months.
The new Russian tax, to be launched from July 1, is set at 50 percent of the customs price per tonne minus 5,500 roubles ($102), but not less than 50 roubles per tonne.
None of the Russian grain exporters, contacted by Reuters, were aware of this proposal for Egypt and some of them doubted that the project would be viable.
"The payment in roubles would ease the risk of currency volatility for Russian suppliers, but the question where Egypt would find the roubles to pay remains in place," one of Moscow-based traders said.
The idea was put forward during a recent visit to Russia by the Egyptian Trade Minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour, a trade ministry source said.
"The results of the visit are going to be discussed in the cabinet meeting today and if there are any offers concerning wheat imports it will be submitted to the supply ministry and the General Authority for Supply Commodities," the trade ministry source said.
Egypt is one of the largest buyers of Russian wheat along with Turkey and Iran.
The rouble fell sharply against the dollar in 2014 and is yet to fully recover.
Israeli air force chief unfazed Egypt may get Russia’s S-300The S-300 would pose a challenge to Israel's air force Middle East
Egypt’s Sisi keen on cooperating with RussiaVladimir Putin affirmed Russia’s support to Sisi and said that his country will keep on backing the Egyptian leader Middle East
Egypt signs Argentine coach Hector CuperCuper is expected to lead Egypt to the 2018 World Cup in Russia Sports
Egypt negotiating exemption from Russia wheat export taxA deal is expected to be signed in April after talks in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh Financial Markets
Russia’s Putin arrives in EgyptPutin was welcomed by his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on arrival at the capital’s international airport Middle East