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Egypt’s staple foods sufficient for 4-6 months, including sugar: Supply minister

The ministry has received over 1 million tonnes of sugarcane and beets from domestic farmers which will be converted into refined sugar and injected into the market in February

Ahram Online , Saturday 21 Jan 2017
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File Photo: Egyptians push to buy subsidized sugar from a government truck after a sugar shortage in retail stores across the country in Cairo, Egypt, October 14, 2016. (Reuters)
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Egypt’s supplies of essential foodstuffs are sufficient to cover demand for four to six months, including sugar supplies, according to statements from the country’s supply minister on Saturday.

The ministry has received over 1 million tonnes of sugarcane and beets from domestic farmers which will be converted into refined sugar and injected into the market in February, minister Mohamed Ali El-Sheikh was quoted as saying by state television's website.

This quantity of sugarcane and beets will help provide the market with 2.4 million tonnes of domestically-produced refined sugar.

El-Sheikh said that in the next few days, the country's High Committee for Sugar would meet to decide on how much refined sugar Egypt still needs to import, whether by public or private sector companies. Imports to cover the country's consumption gap will likely amount to between 800,000 and 1 million tonnes per year.

During the last four months, according to El-Sheikh, the ministry provided the market with around 900,000 tonnes of sugar.

Egypt faced a shortage in sugar supplies during the last quarter of 2016 due to a foreign currency crisis that crippled imports. 

Last November, the ministry increased the price of subsidised sugar sold through ration cards by 40 percent to EGP 7 per kilogramme. Many Egyptians still complain of increasing commercial prices of sugar. 

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