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New player makes least offer in latest wheat bid   

WifagMabrouk General Trading, a new entrant to the Ethiopian wheat market along with its local agent Aplas Importer Plc, have managed to give a lowest offer of USD 108 million (3.04 billion birr) for the supply of 400,000 metric tons of wheat.

Wifag, a Dubai-based trading company, has never been involved in supplying wheat to the Ethiopian market before but has a track-record in other countries.

“The reason that we have decided to involve in the Ethiopian market is after seeing a number of delays and lengthy process in previous wheat procurements,” Aron G. Silassie, partner of Wifag told The Reporter. We believe we can do better than this.”

The bid for the supply of 400,000 metric tons was divided into four lots, each with 100,000 metric ton lots. In this regard, Wifaggave the lowest prices of USD 270, USD 274, USD 278 and USD 284 per ton for each lot.

The company has also proposed to ship the wheat using seller vessels, if it does secure the contract. In this bid, a company by the name of ADM International was the second least bidder following Wifagwith USD 299 just for one lot.

During the latest bid opening on January 31, at the Service’s premises,eight companies submitted their bid out of 38 interested bidders who bought the tender document.

In this bid, Promising International; a companywhich is very familiar to the Ethiopian market with a major role of supplying wheat for years, hasalso submitted its offers. It is to be recalled that a couple of months ago Promising was barred by Public Procurement and Property Administration Agency (PPPAA) not to participate in any bid process for the coming one year.

The decision involved a 1.39 billion birr contract to supply 200,000 metric tons of wheat. In this regard, the Service submitted its complaint to the Agency which put the company in a blacklist of companies barred from participating in any bid in the country.

It was back in June, 2018 that Promising won the contract to supply the 200,000 metric tons of wheat. During this bid process, Promising agreed to supply the wheat and later failed to do so. Three months after Promising was asked to supply the wheat; the entity that issued the tender, in dismay, retendered the purchase.

However, after it was barred by the Agency, the company went to court.The court contradicted the Agency’s decision and gave the company a chance to participate in the bid, The Reporterhas learnt.

“In fact we have appealed to reverse the court’s decision,”YigezuDaba, general director of the Service told The Reporter.

In related news, the Service also sued Promising for an alleged damages it caused on the Service following its failure to supply the wheat. This led the Service to be forced into buying the wheat at much higher prices.

For the latest bid, Promising gave a much higher price for all four lots, ranging from USD 310 to USD 315, per lot.

The latest wheat supply, once awarded to the winning bidder, the wheat will be brought to the country and distributed to more than 5,000 bakeries and 300 flour factories.