Egypt to cut poultry, eggs prices by up to 15% with private sector involvement

Amr Kandil , Monday 1 Apr 2024

Egyptian markets are preparing for a considerable decrease in prices of poultry and eggs starting Tuesday, as the government aims to slash prices of food commodities by 30 percent in the coming weeks in collaboration with the private sector.

File Photo: A vendor weighs a chicken at a shop in the Cairo, Egypt. AFP

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly reviewed an initiative proposed by the Egyptian Poultry Association, a body that includes major private sector poultry producers, to cut prices by 10-15 percent.

The initiative, effective Tuesday, sets the prices for a pack of 30 eggs at EGP 135 and 1 kilogram of chicken at EGP 85 at farms.

According to Minister of Agriculture El-Sayed El-Quseir, customers will be charged an additional maximum of EGP 10.

The association announced this initiative following a meeting with El-Quseir, representatives from various companies, and relevant authorities on Sunday.

El-Quseir stated that this price reduction is part of the first phase of a plan to decrease commodity prices in the coming period.

Poultry is one of the essential commodities targeted for price reduction, as the government collaborates with the private sector to alleviate inflation, given the improved economic situation in the country.

Egypt’s annual headline inflation reached a record level of 219.4 points in February, indicating an annual rate of 36 percent, compared to 31.2 percent seen in January, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) released on Sunday.

30% drop in prices

Last week, Madbouly announced an agreement with private sector manufacturers and merchants to decrease food commodity prices by 15-20 percent initially, and then by 30 percent after Eid Al-Fitr.

During a meeting with major manufacturers, producers, and suppliers representing over 70 percent of the market, Madbouly instructed cabinet teams to ensure the implementation of price reductions in commercial chains and supermarkets.

Madbouly emphasized that citizens should witness a substantial decrease in prices in the coming days, thanks to recent economic measures taken by the state and significant inflows of foreign currency.

These inflows have enabled the release of over $4.5 billion worth of goods that were previously stranded at ports, Madbouly said.

However, goods worth $1.7 billion remained at ports as their owners refused to receive them, awaiting further improvements in the currency exchange rate.

Madbouly ordered the Ministry of Finance to confiscate these goods in accordance with the law, saying that their owners are seeking additional personal gains without considering the interests of low-income citizens.

Alleviating currency shortage

In the past two years, a severe shortage of foreign currency had caused prices of goods and commodities in Egypt to more than triple, forcing individuals with low and middle incomes to adjust their purchasing priorities.

However, the influx of tens of billions of US dollars in recent weeks has led to a decline in the prices of some commodities.

Several experts also anticipate significant price drops in major goods, including vehicles, in the coming weeks.

The substantial foreign currency inflows, including a recent $35 billion investment deal with the United Arab Emirates, enabled the implementation of a long-awaited currency flotation in March.

This flotation narrowed the significant gap between official and parallel-market foreign exchange rates, effectively easing the foreign currency crisis.

El-Quseir noted that the change in the EGP-dollar exchange rate in the parallel market has resulted in lower prices for fodder and soybeans.

He emphasized that this should lead to a decrease in poultry and egg prices as well.

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