Egypt's government begins on Tuesday its annual purchase of local wheat, which this year will total 3.7 million tonnes at a cost of LE10 billion.
The purchase will ensure wheat reserves are sufficient to last until the end of September.
The world’s largest wheat importer needs around 9.5 million tonnes of wheat to produce subsidised bread, the main staple food for Egyptians.
Last year, authorities launched a new subsidised bread programme which aims to reduce smuggling and cut down on wheat spending.
The government will buy the wheat at a subsidised price of LE420 per l’erdeb ($55 per 150 kg) amounting to around $365 per tonne compared to an average international price of $210, the spokesperson for the ministry of supply, Mahmoud Diab, told Ahram Online.
Egypt imported 2.9 million tonnes of wheat in the first half of the current fiscal year ending June 30, reported state-owned news agency MENA at December’s end.
The wheat harvest lasts from April to June.