File photo of young men harvesting sugarcane in Upper Egypt's Qena. (Photo: Bassem Abo Alabass)
Egypt's Supply Ministry has raised its provision of sugar from 4,000 tonnes to 9,000 tonnes per day to secure the essential commodity, the Ministry announced on Sunday.
The country has been facing a sugar scarcity due to an acute dollar shortage, leading to a price hike in unsubsidized sugar that reached EGP 9-10 per kg, up from EGP 4.5-6 per kg in August.
In a statement on its website, the Ministry said it has set the price of subsidized sugar at EGP 5 per kilogramme and increased the price for commercial and industrial purposes from EGP 6 to 7 per kg, in an attempt to regulate the market.
The Supply minister Mohamed Ali El-Sheikh said that the Ministry would continue to provide sugar in the streets as part of its plan to provide 50,000 tonnes of sugar to the market, as well as raise the allotment for ration cards to 120,000 tonnes monthly.
The statement added that the ministry signed off on importing134,300,000 tonnes as well as buying 500,000 tonnes for next month alone.
El-Sheikh said last week that there is currently no problem with the availability of foreign currency as it is being provided by the central bank, adding that Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has ordered the management of essential foodstuff reserves to cover six months.
Egypt’s sugar production reached 2.2 million tonnes in 2016, around 900,000 tonnes less than consumed domestically, the agriculture ministry announced in June.
The country's net international reserves currently stand at $19.591 billion, according to the central bank.