Egypt bans white, raw sugar imports for three months to counter global price decline

Doaa A.Moneim , Thursday 4 Jun 2020

Global sugar prices have dropped on the back of the decline in oil prices, driven down by the global coronavirus pandemic

Minister of Trade and Industry Niveen Gamee issued Thursday a decree banning the import of white and raw sugar for a period of three months, a statement by the ministry said.

The decree excludes sugar that is imported as supply for pharmaceuticals production, provided the supplies obtain the approval of the health ministry.

The ministry added that importing raw sugar will be allowed only with the approval of the ministries of supply, trade and industry regarding import quantities.

The decree will come into force as of its publication in the official gazette, according to the statement.

Gamee said that the decree was issued in coordination with the Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade with the aim of protecting the national industry against fluctuations in global sugar prices, especially raw sugar prices, that declined by 30 percent as a result of the downturn in global oil prices.

“The action came in light of the Covid-19 outbreak crisis and its implications that harmed Egypt’s national industry significantly, while giving space for the national sugar industry to recover from the decrease in the global prices," Gamee said.

Minister of Supply and Internal Trade Ali Moselhi said that the past period witnessed a surge in sugar imports that caused overstocking.

He revealed that Egypt’s total sugar consumption reaches up to 3.2 million tons annually, including 2.4 million tons produced domestically, saying that new projects that will commence production soon will allow Egypt sugar self-sufficiency.

Egypt’s imports of sugars and sugar confectionery recorded $402.6 million during 2019, according to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade.

On 9 April, the supply ministry affirmed the availability of all basic commodities and supplies in the domestic market, saying that strategic reserves at the ministry are sufficient for at least three months, especially in essential commodities.

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