Egypt may buy wheat from India: report

Egypt, one of the world's largest importers of wheat, is considering import of the commodity from India, which is currently saddled with one of the world's biggest grain stocks.

Egypt is also planning to amend its food safety rules to facilitate imports of agriculture produce, Business Line quoted Osama Saleh, Egypt's minister of investment, as saying in an exclusive interview.

''Yes, we are definitely looking at India as an importing country for wheat. We want to have several diversified sources and not just the EU or the US or Canada,'' Saleh said.

The minister is in India with a trade and investment delegation to attend the African ministers' conclave.

Senior officials from the commerce department have already had consultations with the Egyptian agriculture minister Salah Mohamed Abdel Moamen and supply minister Bassem Ouda earlier this month on the issue, the report said.

Egypt imports an estimated 11.5 million tonnes annually while India is sitting on wheat stocks in excess of 30 million tones, against the country's buffer requirement at 11.2 million tonnes.

The Indian government is expected to offer various concessions to Egypt, including a longer credit period in order to compete with other exporters.

While India mostly exports through international trading agencies such as Cargill, Glencore and Louis Dreyfus, it may also look at exporting on government-to-government basis through state trading agencies, the report added.