Egypt needs to import 5 million tons of wheat for FY 2022/23: Minister of supply

Jehad El-Sayed, Tuesday 21 Jun 2022

Egypt needs to import five million tons of wheat for the fiscal year 2022/23, Egyptian Minister of Supply Ali Moselhi told Reuters on Tuesday.

wheat
File Photo: General view of a wheat field in Egypt s Beheira. Reuters

 

In 2021, Egypt imported 5.5 million tons of wheat, according to data released by the supply ministry in December, recording a huge drop from 12.8 million tons of wheat imported in 2020.

About 4.1 million tons of local wheat have been collected from farmers since the beginning of the supply season, which started in April and runs through August, chairman of the state-run General Company for Silos and Storage Kamal Hashim said on Saturday.

It is the first time that Egypt has collected more than four million tons of local wheat, Hashim added.

The local wheat supply, which is expected to increase from 3.5 million tons in 2021 to six million tons this year, will boost the strategic wheat reserves to cover local consumption until January 2023, according to official statements.

The increase in the expected volume of wheat this year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, is a result of increasing the amount of land devoted to wheat cultivation by more than 400,000 feddans.

It also came because of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s directives to provide farmers with incentives to sell more of their crop to the Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade.

Moselhi told the Senate in May that Egypt is doing its best to achieve greater self-sufficiency in wheat production, aiming “to meet 65 percent of domestic needs by the year 2024.”

In the meantime and on the heels of the Russia-Ukraine war, Egypt – the world’s top wheat importer – is seeking to diversify its sources of wheat. Before the war, 80 percent of Egypt’s wheat imports were sourced from Russia and Ukraine.

Moselhi also stated in his remarks to Reuters that Egypt added Portugal to its list of countries from which wheat can be imported. Egypt received a shipment of 63,000 tons of wheat from France in mid-June.

The EU has recently allocated €100 million in immediate relief to encourage investments in Egypt's agricultural sector and secure the country's food needs during the global grain crisis that resulted from the Russian-Ukrainian War, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen announced on 15 June during his visit to Egypt.

In early June, Egypt’s General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) announced that it has signed a contract to purchase 465,000 tons of wheat from Russia, Bulgaria and Romania in what is reportedly the country’s largest wheat purchase since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

During the first week of May, Egypt signed a deal to import 61,500 tons of Indian wheat.

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