Egypt to receive 189,000 tonnes of wheat from Russia, Ukraine, and Romania in coming days

Mai Ghandour, Sunday 13 Mar 2022

Egypt is set to receive a total amount of 189,000 tonnes of wheat from Russia, Ukraine and Romania in the coming days, a statement by the Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade said on Sunday.

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

The wheat shipments from the three countries – which were contracted earlier – have been loaded and are expected to arrive at the Egyptian ports within the coming days, the ministry said.

This comes within the framework of the supply ministry's continuous daily follow-ups on wheat shipments from abroad to prevent disruptions to the supply chain, the statement said.

The expected wheat shipments of 189,000 tonnes are distributed equally from the three countries - 63,000 tonnes from each.

Egypt has already secured 126,000 tons of wheat last week, also distributed equally from France and Romania, the ministry said.

The ministry affirmed the regularity in the supply chain of imported wheat contracted from multiple origins, thus enhancing the strategic reserve of wheat.

Last week, Ukraine, which accounts for 12 percent of the world's total wheat exports, announced that it would not be exporting commodities including wheat, corn, grains, salt, and meat.

Ukraine, however, will still stick to exporting the shipments that have already been contracted on.

Egypt – the world’s top wheat importer – imports 80 percent of its wheat needs from Russia and Ukraine.

On the heels of the Russia-Ukraine war, the country has set its eyes on 14 alternative markets – including non-European countries like the US, Argentina, Canada and Paraguay – to meet its grain needs.

In an attempt to deal with expected shortages in wheat, the ministry has recently banned the export of wheat, fava beans, lentils, pasta and all kinds of flour for the next three months.

Moreover, in light of the advent of the month of Ramadan – which will start in early April and typically witnesses an increase in the rate of consumption of food products - the Ministry of Trade and Industry decided on Saturday to impose an export ban on cooking oil, corn and all kinds of cracked green wheat (fereek) for three months.

So far, the price of wheat in Egypt has increased by only 17 percent, compared to 48 percent in the international market, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said last week.

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 that the local wheat supply season – which starts in mid-April – will cover an additional five more months, according to officials.

Egypt’s local wheat production is expected to reach at least 10 million tonnes this year after 3.65 million feddans of wheat were planted, according to Head of the National Wheat Campaign Reda Mohamed Ali.

During a telephone interview with the Sabah El-Kheir Ya Masr (Good Morning Egypt) TV show on Monday, he stated that, "we will have enough stocks until the end of the year," he added.

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