By Waleed Samir
The strategic reserves of domestic and imported wheat, for the production of subsidised bread, are sufficient until next March, Minister of Supply Khaled Hanafy said Saturday.
Hanafy added that the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) contracted to purchase 230,000 tonnes of wheat from Russia, France and Ukraine.
The minister pointed out that the purchased quantities include 115,000 tonnes of Russian wheat and 60,000 tonnes of French wheat and 55,000 tonnes of Ukrainian wheat with an average price of $191 per tonne. The supply will begin on 21 October for a period of 10 days.
Egypt, the world’s largest wheat importer, consumes around 11m tonnes of wheat per year, 4m of which is obtained from local farmers while the remainder is imported from Russia, Ukraine, Romania, the United States, France and other countries, according to Hesham Abou El-Dahab, Chairman of the Grain Industry Chamber within the Federation of Egyptian Industries.
Wheat imports from Russia and other countries had been suspended in 2013 by the administration of former president Mohamed Morsi. Former supply minister Bassem Auda had announced reliance on the country’s domestic harvest. However, after Morsi’s overthrow in July 2013, the interim government went back to importing wheat, saying that the Islamist president had depended on “false and misleading” data regarding local rates of production.