Egyptian PM calls for regular reports on sugar prices

Ahram Online , Monday 11 Dec 2023

Egypt's Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly has called for regular reports on sugar prices in markets, following the Ministry of Supply's distribution of thousands of tons of sugar across various governorates, according to a statement on Monday.

Wooden plate filled with Sugar. Ahram Gate.
Wooden plate filled with Sugar. Ahram Gate.


Madbouly highlighted the intense efforts of Egyptian regulatory authorities to prevent monopolistic practices and achieve price stability in the sugar market.

His statement came while chairing a meeting at the Central Operations Room of the Council of Ministers while following the presidential elections.

Madbouly emphasized the importance of monitoring commodity prices and controlling markets, urging governors to take responsibility for these matters.

Another pressing issue discussed during the meeting was the protection of agricultural lands.

Egypt has been grappling with a severe sugar crisis in recent weeks, with prices soaring to EGP 50 per kilogram in the markets, as both vendors and food and beverage companies have been stockpiling sugar, which exacerbated the situation.

In response, Minister of Supply and Internal Trade Ali Moselhi urged citizens not to purchase sugar for more than EGP 27 per kilogram and promised a resolution to the crisis by January.

To address the crisis, the Egyptian government imposed a three-month ban on sugar exports in March, with exceptions for excess production, which was reinstated for another three months in September.

Meanwhile, Egypt's Consumer Protection Agency announced 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.

To encourage local production, Egypt raised procurement prices for sugar beets by EGP 75 per ton in March.

This year, the country cultivated 620,000 feddans of sugar beets; an increase of nearly 10,000 feddans compared to the previous year.

Despite these efforts, Egypt's annual sugar production of 2.8 million tons falls short of national consumption, at around 3.2 million tons.

The challenges faced by Egypt extend beyond the sugar market, with rising prices affecting other essential commodities such as rice, onions, and eggs throughout 2023.

These factors have contributed to surging inflation in the country during the first nine months of the year, although the trend began to decelerate in October.

Moreover, Egypt’s annual headline inflation decelerated to 36.4 percent in November, down from 38.5 percent a month prior, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).

CAPMAS’s data further showed that the prices of sugar and sugary foods increased in November by 5.9 percent on an annual basis.

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