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.


Turkey’s jailed pro-Kurdish candidate in first TV appearance for 20 months

Updated 17 June 2018
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Turkey’s jailed pro-Kurdish candidate in first TV appearance for 20 months

  • Selahattin Demirtas, who has been in detention for close to 20 months on security charges and faces a sentence of up to 142 years if convicted
  • One of Turkey’s best-known politicians, he has had to run his campaign mostly through social media

ANKARA: The jailed presidential candidate for Turkey’s pro-Kurdish opposition made his first television appearance in over a year and a half on Sunday, giving a campaign speech ahead of next week’s elections.
Selahattin Demirtas, who has been in detention for close to 20 months on security charges and faces a sentence of up to 142 years if convicted, was nominated by his Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) as a candidate last month.
One of Turkey’s best-known politicians, he has had to run his campaign mostly through social media from his prison cell in the northwestern city of Edirne, while Turkish media have been saturated with coverage of President Tayyip Erdogan and his ministers.
Speaking on state broadcaster TRT in a scheduled 10-minute address, to which he is entitled under election law, Demirtas said voting for Erdogan and his ruling AK Party would mean putting the fate of the country “between one man’s two lips.”
“The only reason I am still here is that the AKP is scared of me. They think tying my hands here and going from square to square spreading accusations about me is being courageous,” a visibly thinner Demirtas said.
“They are openly violating the constitution by declaring me guilty even though there is no conviction ruling against me, and are trying to direct the public by misinforming them,” he said.
The snap parliamentary and presidential elections on Sunday will herald the switch to the new powerful executive presidency narrowly approved in a referendum last year.
In previous elections, Demirtas won votes beyond his core Kurdish constituency, and is likely to draw significant backing in the first round of the presidential vote, while boosting the prospects of his party entering parliament.
Demirtas’s HDP arranged a viewing of his speech in Istanbul’s Bakirkoy Square, where hundreds of supporters gathered to watch.
“You should have no doubt that I will be acquitted in front of the law as soon as possible. So long as the judicial authorities follow the superiority of the law and not the government’s expectations,” Demirtas said, as supporters cheered and waved flags.