Egyptian gov’t gives merchants 10 days to adjust sugar prices: Supply Minister

Ahram Online , Sunday 26 Nov 2023

Egypt's Minister of Supply and Internal Trade Ali Moselhi revealed on Sunday that merchants would be given a ten-day period to regulate prices, or else the government may “resort to forced pricing measures.”

File Photo: Bags of sugar are stacked inside the government food outlet in Cairo, Egypt. Reuters
File Photo: Bags of sugar are stacked inside the government food outlet in Cairo, Egypt. Reuters


While attending the third Nebu Gold Expo in Cairo, Moselhi emphasized that Egypt's strategic sugar reserves are sufficient to meet the country's demand for up to five and a half months.

"The Supply Ministry will not flood the market with sugar in an attempt to preserve the strategic reserve," he assured in a later press conference.

The alarming increase in sugar prices over the past week has caused widespread concern, with kilogram prices exceeding EGP 39 in the markets, as vendors and food and beverage companies increase their inventory.

To combat this, the Egyptian government implemented a three-month ban on all sugar exports in March, except for excess production, and then implemented the ban again for another three months in September.

Egypt has faced significant challenges managing rising prices of essential commodities such as sugar, rice, onions, and eggs since the beginning of 2023. These contributed to surging inflation during the first nine months of the year, although the trend slowed in October.

Egypt's annual headline inflation decreased to 38.5 percent in October, down from 40.3 percent the previous month, according to data released by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).

However, it still remains significantly higher compared to October 2022, when it stood at 16.2 percent.

Egypt is currently working on increasing its agricultural production through a land reclamation programme aimed at restoring 3.5 million feddans.

In March, Egypt raised procurement prices for the current season’s local sugar beets by EGP 75 per ton to encourage farmers to cultivate more.

Egypt cultivated 620,000 feddans of sugar beets this year, marking an increase of nearly 10,000 feddans from 2022.

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