CAIRO: Egypt's main state wheat buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), said it will include wheat of Ukrainian origin in its next wheat tender.
Nomani Nomani, the firm's vice chairman, said on Saturday that the decision was to "boost competition amongst Black Sea origin states." Egypt is the world's largest wheat importer.
The specifications for Ukrainian wheat will be the same as that for Russian wheat, Nomani told Reuters.
Ukraine, a traditional supplier of wheat to the Middle East and North Africa, had been excluded from tenders last season due to quality problems.
Nomani visited Ukraine in September in preparation to add the country as a source in tenders. Egypt had removed Ukraine from the origins permitted in purchase tenders in late 2008.
But agriculture consultancy UkrAgroConsult says Ukraine exports its wheat to Egypt beyond GASC and supplied a total of 626,209 tonnes of wheat in the 2010-11 season. In 2009-10, Ukraine exported 718,012 tonnes of wheat to Egypt.
GASC depends heavily on Russia for the majority of its wheat imports.
Since the start of the 2011-12 fiscal years on July 1, GASC has purchased 2.34 million tonnes of Russian wheat, 180,000 tonnes of Romanian wheat and 120,000 tonnes of Kazakh wheat, according to data collected by Reuters.