Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation El-Sayed El-Quseir
Egypt released a total of over $1 billion worth of fodder from Egyptian ports between 16 October to 19 January, El-Quseir explained in a statement on Tuesday.
These released amount equaled 2.1 million tons of fodders, including 1.5 million tons of corn and 623 tons of soybeans, El-Quseir noted.
Between 12-19 January alone, the minister added, the government released a total of 300,000 tons of fodders worth $135 million. This amount included 242,000 tons of corn worth about $87 million, and 55,000 tons of soybeans worth about $42 million.
"These successive large releases will have positive impacts on the decline in the prices of eggs and poultry and the stability of the markets," the statement quoted the minister as saying.
In recent months, the prices of eggs and poultry, which many low-income Egyptians have increasingly relied as a source of protein in lieu of more costly red meat, have soared in local markets amid an increase in fodder and other production costs.
Accute shortages in fodder were triggered by the accumulation of vast quantities of imported goods at ports after the authorities applied curbs on import finance due to the shortage of hard currency last winter.
However, the government has gradually phased out these curbs by the end of last December as it signed a new loan deal with the International Monetary Fund and adopted a flexible exchange rate in order to overcome a hard currency crunch.
Last Thursday, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi stated that "there was a big problem in the US dollar in the past three months ... but the problem has almost been resolved and we do not have a problem in US dollars."
The government has announced that it had secured in coordination with the banking sector the release of imported goods worth a total of $13.3 billion through 17 January.
Last week, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said import backlog at ports, which amounted at one point late last year to $15 billion worth of commodities, has dropped to $5 billion in merchandise.