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Wednesday, 13 May 2020

The wheat season in the northern hemisphere will be a godsend for food security in Egypt

The wheat season in the northern hemisphere will be a godsend for food security in Egypt: Egypt’s wheat imports could pick up in a couple of months once the harvest season begins in the northern hemisphere and helps to boost global supply, Bloomberg says. The harvest season comes at a critical time for Egypt, potentially enabling it to meet its 800k-ton import target during the local harvest season despite Russia and other major wheat producers restricting exports to bolster their own domestic supply during the pandemic.

Signs of stress in the international market: The reticence of other producers to export has meant that state grain buyer GASC has only imported 240k tons of wheat since the local harvest began in mid-April. Its last tender attracted just five offers — the fewest in more than a year.

Egypt has been relying on local wheat to build up its stockpile. The Supply Ministry has purchased 2.1 mn tonnes of wheat from local farmers since the beginning of the harvest season, 30% more than it snapped up in April last year at a slightly higher price of EGP 770 per ardib, Bloomberg notes.

Local farmers appear to be happy to play ball as they see higher prices and better policies from the government, including paying the farmers within 48-72 hours, which one farmer speaking to the business information service says is “way better than last year.”

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