Egypt is having great difficulty importing large quantities of Russian wheat, which represented nearly 60% of its purchases prior to the war in Ukraine. Cairo is now trying to negotiate with New Delhi in the hope of ensuring a partial lifting of the embargo on Indian wheat.
The halt in Russian and Ukrainian wheat exports has opened a window of opportunity for French grain producers in North and West Africa, who in recent weeks have been able to act as substitute suppliers at short notice.
With grain shipments in the Black Sea becoming impossible, large and small suppliers of both millers and state agencies are having to adapt to meet their requirements. At the same time, prices are exploding, which may be a double-edged sword.
In the midst of a wheat price boom, prominent entrepreneur and head of Cameroon employers' federation, Célestin Tawamba, has shut down his La Pasta flour mill in an attempt to obtain a tax break on imported cereals and to try to change the regulated price of flour.
Barely a year after Algeria's new rules on wheat imports were introduced to break the domination of French suppliers, the changes have already had the desired effect: French imports have dwindled to barely nothing while orders from Russia and Argentina have soared.