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CAIRO: Egypt’s state grains buyer the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) has cancelled its international tender for vegetable oils, it said on Thursday, opting for a purchase of the cheaper local soyaoil.

The lowest offer presented at the international tender was $1,955 a tonne c&f for soyaoil, traders said, marking a 9% increase in price from its last soyaoil purchase on March 22 at $1,788 a tonne.

GASC, however, purchased 56,500 tonnes of soyaoil in a separate local production tender, a supply ministry statement said on Thursday. The purchase was made at a price of 35,500 Egyptian pounds ($1,924.12) a tonne, traders said.

Soyaoil prices have soared to record highs after Indonesia’s decision to effectively ban exports of palm oil heightened concerns about already depleted global supplies of vegetable oils.

The loss of shipments from Ukraine, the world’s top supplier of sunflower oil, and drought in the world’s top soybean oil exporter Argentina had already sparked a sharp rise in global vegetable oil prices.

Sunflower oil was not offered in both tenders.

GASC was seeking an unspecified quantity of soyaoil and sunflower oil in the international tender for arrival June 10-30 and/or July 1-20. It had also set a local production tender on Thursday, seeking vegetable oils for arrival June 1-30.

Egypt’s reserves of vegetable oils are now sufficient for six months following the purchase, the supply ministry said.

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