Egypt raises subsidised sugar prices by 40pct amid supply shortage

Bassem Abo Alabass , Tuesday 1 Nov 2016

Sugar
Egyptians buy sugar from a truck in the capital Cairo on October 26, 2016. (AFP)

Egypt’s supply ministry has increased the price of the subsidised sugar sold through ration cards by 40 percent to reach EGP 7 per kilogramme, an official at the interior ministry said on Tuesday.

“The decision aims to stop the price manipulation in the markets, as both the commercial and cards prices of the subsidised sugar are now set at EGP 7,” Hosni Zaki, the head of the investigation of supply department at the interior ministry, told Ahram Online.

Egypt has been facing a shortage in sugar supplies for weeks amid a foreign currency crisis that crippled imports.

On 15 October, the supply ministry set the commercial price of subsidised sugar at EGP 6 per kilogramme to be available at the ministry's sales outlets, adding that the government would continue selling subsidised sugar for EGP 5 per kg within the ration card system.

A week later, the ministry announced that the price of sugar products sold at the outlets of the state-run Food-Industries Holding Company, had raised to EGP 7.

According to the ministry, 71 million people use the government's subsidy cards to buy essential food goods.

The ministry has raised its provision of sugar from 4,000 tonnes to 9,000 tonnes per day to secure the essential commodity.

Last week, Egypt's Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said the country has sufficient stocks of sugar to cover at least three months and that he expects the recent shortage of the commodity to end in a week. 

*The official exchange rate for $1 = EGP 8.78

 

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