Egypt says Dubai trader failed to deliver on contracted wheat shipments

Farmers harvest wheat at a farm on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt. (File photo: Reuters)
Updated 23 May 2018
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Egypt says Dubai trader failed to deliver on contracted wheat shipments

DUBAI/CAIRO: Dubai-based trader AOS, a leading supplier of wheat to Egypt, has failed to deliver two of its cargoes, Supply Minister Ali Moselhy told Reuters.
Moselhy, who is also chairman of Egypt’s state grain buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), said AOS had been offered two extensions for the delayed cargoes of about 120,000 tons of wheat but still failed to supply them.
AOS declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.
“They (AOS) have failed to deliver two cargoes, there were delays and we arranged new timings for them ... but they did not execute,” Moselhy said. “They are now outside of their contractual terms (with GASC).”
He declined to provide details of the cargoes, including country of origin, and did not specify their value.
Egypt baffled grain traders last week by holding an international purchase tender for wheat, in which GASC bought 60,000 tons despite a plentiful local harvest that would normally mark a pause in imports until around July.
The tender raised questions over why Egypt, the world’s largest wheat buyer, needed to buy cargoes at a time of high prices as the season for Black Sea wheat neared its close.
The missing AOS cargoes could force Egypt to tap global markets sooner than expected to maintain reserves of the grain, which the government considers politically sensitive for its role in supplying the country’s bread subsidy program.
Egypt has operated a massive bread subsidy system since the 1960s, which no Egyptian leader has been able to modify due to fears of unrest like the 1977 bread riots.
AOS Chairman Mohamed Al-Naqbi said last November that the trader supplies Egypt with about 20 percent of the country’s annual grain needs, including 700,000 tons of wheat to GASC and 1.7 million tons to the private market.
The Egyptian government spends about $1.5 billion annually on state wheat imports.


Saudi Arabia's KSRelief says blast kills 5 foreign demining experts in Yemen

Updated 38 min 2 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia's KSRelief says blast kills 5 foreign demining experts in Yemen

SANAA: A Saudi demining group says five of its international experts have been killed by an accidental explosion in Yemen while transporting mines and explosives to be destroyed.
The MASAM Demining Project said Monday that two South Africans, a Croatian, a Bosnian and a Kosovar were killed a day earlier while transporting the material in the central Marib province to a remote location where it could be safely detonated. It says a British national was wounded.
The project, part of the Saudi King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief), began last year and seeks to remove unexploded ordnance from Yemen.
MASAM says the experts “lost their lives while attempting to bring safety and security to the Yemeni people, and their service to mankind will not be forgotten.”


This comes as Yemeni security officials say UN envoy Martin Griffiths has arrived in the capital, Sanaa, on an unannounced visit to discuss the “complex situation” in and around the coastal city of Hodeidah, where Yemen’s warring parties agreed to a cease-fire last month and agreed on a prisoner exchange that has yet to take place.
Also under discussion from Monday will be disagreements between the Houthi militia, who hold Hodeidah, and Retired Dutch Maj. Gen. Patrick Cammaert, who is heading a UN mission charged with monitoring the cease-fire.
The conflict in Yemen began with the 2014 takeover of Sanaa by the Iranian-backed terrorist group. An Arab coalition allied with the internationally recognized government has been fighting the Houthis since 2015.
The officials spoke anonymously as they weren’t authorized to brief journalists.
Meanwhile, the coordination cell at the Advanced Operations Center in Hodeidah identified 688 violations committed by the Houthi militia since the cease-fire took effect on Dec. 18.
A cell report published by the Yemeni News Agency said that these violations committed by the Houthis led to the killing of 48 citizens and 362 others wounded, some with serious injuries.
A military source in the committee pointed out that the Houthi violations continue with various types of weapons, which target civilian houses, public places and army positions.
The source stressed that the militia continues to strengthen its defensive positions by planting mines and digging trenches and land passages at the entrances to the city and the main sites.
The source pointed out that the Iran-backed militia aims to provoke the forces of the Yemeni National Army and the Arab coalition through these increasing violations, in a clear intent to thwart the Stockholm cease-fire agreement.
The source called on the office of the UN envoy to take the necessary and serious measures to pressure the Houthi militia to immediately stop these violations and abide by the UN-led agreement on Hodeidah.