Egypt private sector to reduce food commodities prices by 30%: PM Madbouly

Ahram Online , Tuesday 26 Mar 2024

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly announced on Monday an agreement with private sector manufacturers and merchants to reduce prices of food commodities by 15-20 percent, and then by 30 percent after Eid Al-Fitr, in line with President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s directives.

Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly
Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly


PM Madbouly has deployed cabinet teams to ensure the implementation of price reductions in commercial chains and supermarkets.

Traders have confirmed their commitment to the decision, noting that oil, beans, lentils, and rice prices have already decreased.

The government, in cooperation with the banking system, has finalized procedures for releasing all the goods accumulated in ports, Madbouly said during the meeting

Among the more than $4.5 billion goods in ports, goods worth around $2.8 billion have been released, and goods worth $1.7 billion remain, according to the figures presented by the Ministry of Finance.

All the necessary paperwork for these goods has been completed, and dollars have been made available in banks. 

However, the owners have refused to receive them, waiting for further decreases in the dollar, Madbouly continued.

On Monday, the finance ministry ordered the confiscation of all these goods. The law and regulations regarding abandoned goods will be applied to them, Madbouly added.

On Thursday, President El-Sisi instructed the government to allocate $3 billion for importing goods to stabilize the market.

Over the past two years, Egypt has grappled with a foreign currency shortage and other economic challenges that have upped the price of most goods, especially food.

The food prices inflation index, a sub-index of the inflation index produced by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), surged to over 60 percent in the six months leading up to February.

Moreover, it exceeded 70 percent in August, September, and October 2023.

Egypt’s annual headline inflation rate reached 29.8 percent in January, dropping from 33.7 percent in December 2023, according to CAPMAS.

The drop came despite the price hikes of many goods and services since the beginning of 2024, including train fares, telecommunications services, and electricity bills.

Since February, the government has taken several actions to provide US dollar liquidity in the local market for releasing the stockpiled goods in ports and keeping market stability amid the elevating inflation.

Last week, the World Bank Group (WBG) announced new financing to Egypt of over $6 billion over the next three years.

Recently, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has expanded its Extended Fund Facility (EFF) loan programme for Egypt from $3 billion to $8 billion over four years.

Furthermore, the European Union (EU) has pledged more than $8 billion in loans and financing to support the country’s economy amid the repercussions of the Gaza and Sudan wars.

In early March, the signing of the $35 billion investment deal of Ras El-Hekma with the United Arab Emirates buoyed the Egyptian economy, being the largest foreign direct investment (FDI) in Egypt’s history.

Short link: