Egypt’s strategic wheat reserves suffice until July

Ahram Online, Saturday 3 May 2014

News follows recent purchase of 100,000 tons of wheat from Ukraine and Russia

Photo: Ahram file)

Egypt’s strategic wheat reserves are now enough to last until the first week of July as a result of the latest import deal, Mahmoud Diab, spokesperson for the Ministry of Supplies and Domestic Trade told Ahram Online on Saturday.

On Friday, the state-run commodities buyer and distributer (GASC), bought 110,000 tons of wheat from Ukraine and Russia at an average price of LE2,100 $302.56 per ton.

The Ministry of Supplies and Domestic Trade started buying local wheat in mid April and expects to keep on receiving wheat from local farmers until mid-July.

So far, the ministry has received 425,000 tons from local farmers which is 40 percent more than the amount received in the same period last year, reported state-owned Al-Ahram Arabic website.

The government expects to buy 4.25 million tons (compared to 3.4 million tons last year) of local wheat by July this year, almost half of the projected harvest's 9.6 million tons.

Egyptians consume a total of between 15 and 20 million tons of wheat per year, of which 10 million tons are produced locally, with the rest coming from imports.

The surface area planted with wheat this year amounts to 3.5 million feddans, a 100,000 feddan increase from last year, according to Ashraf El-Ghannam, head of the agriculture ministry's department for agricultural extension services.

Productivity is also expected to increase to 2.8 tons per feddan – up from 2.7 tons last year, officials told Ahram Online in April.

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