Egypt's wheat imports hit 2.9 mn tonnes in six months

Ahram Online , Thursday 25 Dec 2014

Imports have marginally dropped since last year when the same period registered 3.1 million tonnes

An employee works at an elevator, transporting grain from a lower storage to the upper stage of a warehouse, in the town of Blagodarny, some 150 km (93 miles) east of Stavropol in southern Russia, July 5, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt, the world's largest importer of wheat, purchased 2.9 million tonnes in the second half of 2014, making its wheat reserves sufficient through the last week of April when the local wheat harvest begins.

The purchase represents a 6.2 percent drop from the same period the prior year when Egypt imported 3.1 million tonnes, Mamdouh Abdel-Fattah, vice chairman of the state-owned grain purchaser, GASC, told state-owned news agency MENA on Thursday.

France is Egypt's primary wheat supplier, providing 36 percent (around 1 million tonnes) of the country's imports. Behind France are Romania, which provides 26.8 percent (780,000 tonnes) and Russia which exports 26.3 percent (765,000 tonnes) of Egypt’s wheat imports, Abdel Fattah added.

Russia curbed its wheat exports last week on fears of rising prices as its economy took a hit from falling oil prices and the depreciating Ruble. The Egyptian government assured it would not be affected as it has alternative sources for wheat, according to Reuters.

Egypt imported 5.46 million tonnes of wheat to supplement local production of 3.7 million tonnes during the last fiscal year, which ended on 30 June.

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