Egypt's govt buys 4.8 million tonnes of domestic wheat

Ahram Online , Friday 10 Jun 2016

(File photo: Al-Ahram)

Egypt's government has purchased 4.8 million tonnes of domestic wheat since the harvest season’s beginning in mid-April, the agriculture ministry said in an emailed statement on Friday.

Although the government procured its targeted wheat amount of four million tonnes for 2016 in May, the farmers continue to harvest, the ministry said. Total wheat farmland amounts to 3.4 million feddans nationwide.

Last year, the government purchased a record 5.3 million tonnes of domestic wheat, up from 3.7 million tonnes purchased a year prior, at the subsidised price of EGP420 per tonne.

The government said previously that it would procure local supplies this year at the subsidised price of around EGP420 per ardeb (150kg), depending on quality, reversing its decision to replace the crop subsidy with a land subsidy of EGP1,300 per feddan (roughly one acre) of wheat grown. 

The world's largest wheat importer has banned the trading of imported wheat in the domestic market without permission from the supply ministry during this year's harvest season, which lasts from April to July.

Wheat imports for the 2015/16 marketing year are estimated at 11 million tonnes, the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) wrote in October 2015, "about the same as the previous year and the average for the last five years."

*One feddan is equivalent to approximately one acre
*The official exchange rate for $1 = EGP8.87

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