Egypt eyes 5.5m T of wheat imports
Cairo, August 30, 2013
Egypt is targeting wheat imports of 5 million to 5.5 million tonnes in the year ending June 30, 2014, and has enough stocks to last until mid-January, state news agency MENA quoted the supplies minister as saying.
"The ministry, through the General Authority for Supply Commodities, targets 5-5.5 million tonnes of wheat in the fiscal year 2013-2014 and that is to provide Egypt's needs for subsidised bread," Minister Mohamed Abu Shady told MENA.
"The ministry is keen to diversify its wheat sources through global exchanges providing the best quality and most suitable prices ... the country's stocks of wheat are enough to last till mid-January," he said.
Egypt is the world's largest wheat importer. It usually buys around 10 million tonnes of wheat per year from international markets and uses a mixture of domestic and imported wheat for its subsidised bread programme that feeds millions of people.
With a quarter of Egypt's 84 million people living below the poverty line of $1.65 a day, millions of families depend on subsidised bread that sells for less than 1 U.S. cent per loaf.
Egypt has cut down on its imports this year, betting on a higher domestic crop.
In its last international tender on August 28, Egypt bought 295,000 tonnes of Russian, Ukrainian and Romanian wheat. The Black Sea region has traditionally been Egypt's top wheat supplier.
The tender on August 28 was Egypt's sixth since February and the fifth since the departure of President Mohamed Mursi in a popular uprising backed by the army on July 3.-Reuters