Egypt's strategic wheat reserves cover 4 months: Cabinet

Ahram Online , Thursday 19 May 2022

Egypt currently has a strategic reserve of wheat that can cover domestic consumption for four months, the Egyptian Cabinet's media centre said on Thursday.

File Photo: A bird flies over a wheat field, in Qalubiyah, North Cairo, Egypt (Photo: AP)


In a statement, the centre refuted reports that Egypt's wheat reserves have been impacted by the disruption in international markets.

The cabinet also noted that the local wheat supply season has begun, which will contribute to augmenting the strategic reserves until December 2022.
In March, the cabinet – upon President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s directives – issued a decree to start the local wheat supply season for 2022 on 1 April instead of 15 April, and to provide farmers with incentives to sell more of their crop to the Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade.

Egypt is expected to source around six million tonnes of wheat this season – around 2.5 million tonnes more than in 2021.

Egypt, the world’s largest wheat importer, relies on wheat to produce bread – a key staple for Egyptians – with 80 percent of its imports coming from Russia and Ukraine.

Egypt imports 12 to 13 million tonnes of wheat per year, according to the Observatory of Economic Complexity in 2020 – an online data visualisation platform focused on the geography and dynamics of economic activities across the globe.

The government has announced that it is diversifying its import sources from a new list of countries, at the top of which is India, which has exempted Egypt from its recent wheat export ban.

Egypt is expected to receive its first wheat shipment, which amounts to up to 55,000 tonnes, from India soon.

The country also has a strategic reserve of sugar and different types of cooking oils that can cover five months, the centre said, adding that the country is set to buy more quantities of oil, the statement said.

The country also has a strategic reserve of rice that is enough for nearly nine months.

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