Egypt has imposed an export ban on cooking oil, corn, and all kinds of cracked green wheat for three months, Minister of Trade and Industry Nevine Gamea announced on Saturday.
The decision was taken in coordination with Minister of Supply and Internal Trade Ali Moselhi in light of the country’s plan to secure citizens’ needs of basic commodities, especially with the advent of the month of Ramadan — which will start in early April —and witnesses an increase in the rate of consumption of food products.
Starting Friday, Egypt banned the export of wheat, fava beans, lentils, pasta, and all kinds of flour for three months.
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 Russian-Ukrainian 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 food subsidy system, provides millions of citizens with key food staples at lower-than-market prices, including rice, pasta, cooking oil, and bread.