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Monday, 16 January 2017

Agriculture Ministry raises price of subsidized fertilizer to EGP 2,959 per tonne

The Agriculture Ministry has raised the price of subsidized fertilizer to EGP 2,959 per tonne from EGP 2,000, a 48% price hike, Ahram Gate reported. The decision was based on an average FX rate of EGP 16.3 per USD and takes into account increases in production costs. Fertilizer manufacturers had refused to sell to the Agriculture Ministry until prices were adjusted and were instead seeking export sales, Al Mal reported. Evergrow Fertilizers are looking to boost exports to USD 100 mn this year from USD 43 mn in 2016, Chairman Mohamed El Kheshen said. The whole sector added 40% in exports from this time last year, said El Kheshen, who also heads the fertilizer division at the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce.

Farmers, the beneficiaries of the subsidies, are at an uproar, going so far as to threaten to stop selling wheat to the General Authority for Supply Commodities, Al Mal reports. Growers are also demanding the price of wheat this season be raised, saying the increase in the cost of fertilizers will raise their growing costs 50% in the next harvest.

In related news, the government’s High Committee on Sugar (not to be confused with the sugar high committee) has reportedly agreed to raise the price paid to beet farmers to EGP 400 per tonne from EGP 275 per tonne this season, according to Al Mal. The move is designed to increase domestic supplies of sugar in view of the shortage that gripped the nation late last year.

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