CAIRO: There is no need for any additional wheat imports in the short or medium term, Egypt’s Supply Minister Ali Al-Moselhi said during a meeting with Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly to follow up on the provision of basic commodities in local markets.
Madbouly said the government is intensifying work to continue providing a strategic reserve of basic commodities, especially wheat.
“(We are) providing the financial funds required for the Ministry of Supply to quickly pay the dues of farmers who will supply the wheat crop during next April, while giving them the necessary incentives in this regard,” he added.
“The government … is closely monitoring current developments at the global level, and the turmoil it is witnessing due to the Russian-Ukrainian crisis and its repercussions … especially the shortage of a number of goods and the rise in prices worldwide.”
Last year, Russia accounted for 69.4 percent of Egypt’s wheat imports, while Ukraine accounted for 10.7 percent.
Finance Minister Mohamed Maait had previously said the rise in wheat prices in global markets would lead to an increase in the cost of Egypt’s imports of this commodity.
Cabinet spokesman Nader Saad said Egypt is working on a plan to import wheat from other regions instead of Russia and Ukraine. Egypt has 14 countries approved to supply wheat, some of them outside Europe, he added.
“Egypt has a strategic stock of wheat approaching 5 million tons in silos or mills, and local wheat will join them starting from next April 15, to suffice the stock for a period of nine months,” Saad said.
Egypt is the largest importer of wheat in the world. The government expects wheat imports to decline from 5.5 million tons in 2021 to 5.3 million this year due to growth in domestic production.