CAIRO, EGYPT — Egypt may change its grain purchase methods as it prepares to boost its strategic reserves ahead of any export curbs, Reuters reported.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi encouraged the boost as concerns increase about food supplies due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) may ask suppliers to offer prices on a cost and freight basis instead of free-on-board, Reuters said. GASC usually asks for wheat prices on an FOB basis with freight in a separate tender.

“Cost and freight is better because it means the supplier has more control of the cargo,” one trader told Reuters.

GASC also is considering paying for the grain at its next tender with “at sight” letters of credit, which guarantee immediate payment on receipt of various shipment documents, as opposed to deferred payments.

Egypt’s strategic reserves of wheat are sufficient for four months. Harvest of the local crop starts in mid-April.

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