'Be patient, sugar crisis to be solved mid-December': Egypt's supply minister

Radwa ElSayed Hani , Friday 1 Dec 2023

Egypt's Minister of Supply and Internal Trade Ali Moselhi urged citizens to not buy kilograms of sugar for more than EGP 27, promising that the current crisis will be resolved next month.

 Ali Moselhi.
Egypt s Minister of Supply and Internal Trade Ali Moselhi. Photo: Egyptian Cabinet

 

"I am telling citizens that sugar is available. We must be patient for a while,” Moselhi said, during a Tuesday interview on the ON TV channel.

The minister said the current sugar crisis in Egypt is real.

"I cannot deny it," he said, pointing out that the ministry is grappling with the demand in the market.

He confirmed that sugar prices are reaching EGP 45 per kilogram in the markets, apologizing to citizens and pledging to resolve the crisis by mid-December.

Moselhi stressed that the sugar kilogram price -next year and a month from now- will not exceed EGP 24 or EGP2 5, and two weeks from now will sell for EGP 27 at most.

"We communicated with the governorates, and identified the daily needs in each one, and work is underway to supply them," he said, highlighting that the ministry covers the needs of 64 million citizens.

Meanwhile, Egypt's Consumer Protection Agency announced Wednesday the launch of a major market inspection campaign in Cairo, which resulted in the seizure of eight tons of hoarded sugar from one of the largest market chains in the Zaytoun area in Cairo.

The chain, which unlawfully withheld the sugar from circulation, was obliged by the agency to sell the sugar to citizens immediately for EGP 27 per kilogram. Legal measures were taken against the chain.

On Sunday, Moselhi revealed that merchants would be given a ten-day period to reduce sugar prices, or else the government may "resort to forced pricing measures."

The alarming increase in sugar prices in recent weeks has caused widespread concern, as vendors and food and beverage companies stockpile their inventory.

According to the Ministry of Supply, Egypt’s annual sugar production stands at 2.8 million tons, while consumption is around 3.2 million tons.

Egypt has faced significant challenges managing rising prices of essential commodities such as sugar, rice, onions, and eggs since the beginning of 2023.

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