Egypt lowers gas supply to fertilizer companies amid severe shortage

Muhammed Khalid , Tuesday 31 Oct 2023

The state-owned Egyptian Chemical Industries Company (KIMA) reported a decline in natural gas supplies, according to a bourse statement on Tuesday.

Petrochemicals plan in Egypt.
Petrochemicals plan in Egypt.


The news came amid media reports that gas supplies to fertilizer companies had been cut by 30 percent.

The news led to a sharp decline in the stocks of petrochemicals companies, including Kima, Misr Fertilizers Production Co (Mopco), and Abu Qir Fertilizers (ABUK), which dropped 11.82 percent, 13.11 percent, and 11.49 percent, respectively.

“The Egyptian natural gas shortage is not expected to continue for much longer as the government will likely stop exporting natural gas for a certain period in order to be able to fulfil domestic needs, whether from companies or citizens,” economist and market analyst Hanian El-Mahdy told Ahram Online.

El-Mahdy said there is no cause for alarm, suggesting the market will self-regulate.

“Affected petrochemical companies might have backup plans for such shortage. Also, the lower supply of fertilizers will result in higher prices so the profitability of these companies will likely double,” El-Mahdy added.

Egypt is suffering a severe shortage of natural gas supplies after Israel’s war on Gaza led to the suspension of gas supplies from Israel, down from 800 million cubic feet per day.

As a result, Egypt extended the duration of gas-saving daily power cuts to two hours from just one.

However, many Egyptians complained on social media that power cuts are exceeding four hours, including the famous actor Nabil El-Halafawi.

Other users have complained of twice-daily blackouts lasting nearly two hours each.

Ahram Online reached out to the Ministry of Electricity and the Cabinet but received no reply.

In mid-July, the government began a nationwide load-shedding programme to alleviate the mounting pressure on the country's gas network strained by rising temperatures, which raised demands for air conditioning.

Amid public outcry, the government announced in August daily scheduled power cuts, releasing a map detailing the time and duration of power cuts in each district countrywide. 

However, several MPs have claimed the schedule is not being followed.

Power cuts have declined over the past two months.

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