Egypt’s exports of food industries stabilised in 2020 at $3.5bn, which are the same rates in 2019, despite the negative repercussions of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on global trade.
The latest figures mean that Egypt occupies third place in terms of non-oil exports, possessing 13% of their value.
The Egyptian Food Export Council report noted that the sector’s exports decreased by 8% in December 2020 to record $272m, compared to $296m in 2019.
The report highlighted that the impact of COVID-19 on the sector’s exports was slight over the past year, as the sector recorded a growth of 4.2% in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020.
It stood at $907m in the quarter, compared to $870m in Q1 of 2019. Moreover, food industries exports grew by 3% in Q2 of 2020 to register $912m, compared to $885m in Q2 of 2019.
Food industries exports has reported a slight growth in Q3 of 2020 to record $843m, compared to $836m in Q3 of 2019, while in Q4 of 2020, exports decreased by 8.7% to $794m, compared to $870m in Q4 of 2019.
The report showed that the impact of the pandemic began to appear in March 2020, when exports of food industries decreased by 4%. The highest rates of decline were in the months of May by 23%, October by 13%, and July by 10%.
Nevertheless, food industries exports achieved growth in January by 20%, June by 42%, and August by 14%.
The report pointed out that 10 countries account for 64% of the sector’s total exports last year, with a value of $2.4bn.
“Food industry exports to Arab countries during the past year decreased to record $1.865bn compared to approximately $1.933bn in 2019, a decrease of 3%, to account for 54% of the sector’s total exports,” the report read, “Exports to European Union countries increased by 7% to register $490m in 2020, compared to around $457m to account for 14% of their total value.”
The report added that food industries exports decreased to non-Arab African countries by about $386m, compared to about $412m in 2019, reflecting a 6% decrease, acquiring 11% of its value.
Egypt’s exports of food industries to the US were down 11% in the past year, to record $181m compared to $202m in the previous year, to acquire 5% of the sector’s exports. At the same time, Egyptian food industries exports to the rest of the world were valued at $535m compared to $456m, an increase of 17%, the report said.