Egypt in talks with UAE to secure $ 500 mln for its wheat imports: Minister

Ahram Online , Thursday 20 Jul 2023

Egypt is currently in talks with the United Arab Emirates to secure a total of $500 million in funding to import wheat, Bloomberg quoted Minister of Supply and Internal Trade Ali El-Moselhi as saying on Thursday.

Ali El-Moselhi.
Minister of Supply and Internal Trade Ali El-Moselhi. Official Facebook Page


El-Moselhi said that the talks should lead the UAE to provide the funding, in $100 million instalments, through the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, adding that the money will be mainly used to finance a wheat deal with the Abu Dhabi-based Al-Dahra Agricultural Company.

Egypt secures wheat supplies. 

The minister also stated that Egypt has enough wheat reserves for five months, adding that local farmers supplied the government with 3.8 million tons of wheat.

Egypt aims to purchase four million tons of local wheat during the current harvest season, which started in April and runs through the fall.

The government increased the price for procured local wheat by 20 percent; it now pays EGP 1,500 per ardeb (150 kg) for the harvest season that started in April.

Recently, Russian President Vladimir Putin refused to extend a deal with Ukraine for exporting grain through the Black Sea. Russia and Ukraine are Egypt's primary wheat suppliers. 

Based on 2022 figures, Egypt consumes up to 18 million tons of wheat annually, 12 million tons of which are imported.

Egypt thus aims to reduce the impact of the disruptions in global food supply chains and rising commodity prices by encouraging farmers to increase wheat supply to the government.

Sugar self-sufficiency

El-Moselhi further noted that Egypt produces 3.1 million tons of sugar annually and imports up to 400,000 tons.

He highlighted that the Canal Sugar company, which owns a massive sugar factory in Minya, is expected to increase its production capacity to nearly 600,000 tons in the coming season.

The company is majority-owned by Emirati businessman Jamal al-Ghurair, managing director of Al-Khaleej Sugar, and other UAE investors. They own 70 percent of the roughly $1 billion project, whereas Egypt's Al-Ahly Capital Holding owns the remaining 30 percent.

Egypt uses both sugarcane and sugarbeet to produce sugar. The harvesting season for sugarcane occurs from January to May. On the other hand, the harvest season for sugarbeet starts in March.

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