Egypt bans sugar exports for three months: Trade minister

Aya Salah , Wednesday 22 Mar 2023

The Minister of Trade and Industry Ahmed Samir announced a three-month ban on all types of sugar exports on Wednesday, except quantities that exceed local market needs.

File Photo: Bags of sugar are stacked inside the government food outlet in Cairo, Egypt. Reuters


According to the decree published in the Official Gazette, the Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade will estimate the excessive quantities, which must undergo ministerial approval before export.

This is a precautionary measure to secure sufficient sugar for domestic consumption, whether for human or industrial use. 

With the rise in global sugar prices, exporting sugar typically generates higher returns for companies.

To make up for the shortage in sugar cane, Egypt cultivated 620,000 feddans of sugar beets this year – adding 10,000 feddans compared to 2022 – and targets to produce 1.8 million tons of sugar from beets.

Last week, Egypt's Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade Ali Moselhi raised procurement prices for the current season’s local sugar beets by EGP 75 per ton to encourage farmers to cultivate it more as the country seeks to double production of the crop.

Moselhi stated in February that there has been an increase in beet cultivation to compensate for shortages in sugar cane, adding that the supply ministry's sugar reserves are enough for 3-5 months.  

Egypt is currently working on increasing its agricultural land through a land reclamation program aiming to cover approximately 3.5 million feddans.

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