Egypt barred the entry of a ship carrying 55,000 tons of Indian wheat originally intended for Turkey because it did not meet quarantine requirements, Egyptian plant quarantine chief Ahmed al-Attar said on Saturday.
“We rejected the ship before it entered Egypt,” al-Attar told Reuters, adding that Turkish quarantine authorities had already blocked the arrival of the vessel.
Separately, Egypt, typically the world’s biggest importer of wheat, was expecting the arrival of its first Indian wheat shipment later on Saturday, purchased by the Egyptian private sector.
Supply Minister Aly Moselhy said in May that a deal with India to directly purchase 500,000 tons of wheat outside the usual tender system had been agreed but not yet signed.
In April, Egypt’s agriculture ministry announced it had approved India as a source of wheat supplies as the North African country seeks to supplant purchases disrupted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
India’s government confirmed that it would still allow shipments awaiting customs clearance and exports to Egypt.
Moselhy previously said that the Indian ban would not apply to a government deal with Egypt.