Egypt bans export of wheat, other staples for 3 months

Ahram Online , Thursday 10 Mar 2022

Egypt's Ministry of Trade and Industry has banned the export of wheat, fava beans, lentils, pasta, and all kinds of flour for the next three months, according to Al-Ahram Arabic news website.

General view of a wheat field in Egypt s Beheira. Reuters

The decision will come into effect starting Friday 11 March as per a decision published in the official gazette on Wednesday.

Egypt, along with the rest of the world, is witnessing an increase in the prices of oil and non-oil commodities on the heels of the Russia-Ukraine war. Egypt receives 80 percent of its wheat imports from Russia and Ukraine.

However, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said on Wednesday that Egypt is witnessing a smaller increase in prices compared to other countries, noting that the price of wheat in Egypt has increased by only 17 percent, compared to 48 percent in the international market.

Madbouly offered assurance that Egypt has enough wheat reserves to last till the end of 2022.

Egypt's current strategic wheat reserves are sufficient to cover the coming four months, and it is expected – via its local wheat supply season that starts in mid-April – to augment its total stock to cover five more months, according to officials.

In the meantime, the country is setting its eyes on 14 alternative markets – including non-European countries like the US, Argentina, Canada and Paraguay – to meet its grain needs.

Egypt, under its subsidy ration system, provides million citizens with key food staples at lower-than-market prices, including rice, pasta, cooking oil and bread.

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