Minister of Supply and Internal Trade Khaled Hanafy told Reuters that Egypt’s stocks of wheat for the subsidised bread programme will last until the end of March.
Hanafy added that the country bought 235,000 tonnes of French and Ukrainian wheat last Wednesday to be shipped to the country between 11 and 20 December.
The world’s largest wheat exporter, Russia, has pledged, following a meeting between President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and Russian President Vladimir Putin in August, that Moscow will supply the country with 5m tons of wheat over the coming period.
Egypt, the world’s largest wheat importer, consumes around 11m tonnes of wheat per year, of which 4m tonnes are obtained from local farmers. The remainder is imported from Russian, Ukraine, Romania, United States, France and other countries, according to chairman of the Grain Industry Chamber within the Federation of Egyptian Industries Hesham Abou El-Dahab.
Wheat imports from Russia and other countries were suspended in 2013 by former president Mohamed Morsi with then supply minister Bassem Auda announcing relying on the country’s domestic harvest. However, after Morsi’s removal from power in July 2013, the interim government returned to importing wheat, saying that the Islamist president had depended on “false and misleading” data regarding local rates of production.