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Wednesday, 23 March 2022

Price fluctuations dominate our airwaves

The airwaves were all about prices last night, as the impact of the state’s policy decisions continues to unfold.

First up, we have bad news if you’re looking to buy a house: Property prices could increase by around 15-20% in the coming days due to an increase in the prices of building materials on the back of the war in Ukraine and the EGP devaluation, MP Tarek Shoukry, member of the House Housing Committee told Kelma Akhira’s Lamees El Hadidi in a phone-in (watch, runtime 10:55). We’re already seeing an increase of more than 40% in cement and steel prices, for example, he said.

What about units that were sold but not delivered? Real estate developers will bear the losses of units contracted by clients before the price increases, Shoukry told Ala Mas’ouleety’s Ahmed Moussa in a phone-in (watch, runtime 10:57). A request for a three-month deadline extension for project deliveries has been submitted to the Prime Minister, he said, which would allow developers to assess the current situation and its impact on the real estate sector.

** Check out this morning’s Hardhat where we break down how rising building materials prices are affecting companies in the sector.

Next up: Better news on food prices. The price of flour dropped by EGP 1k per tonne in the past two days, following the government's decision to impose price caps on unsubsidized bread, Abdallah Ghorab, head of the bakery division at the Egyptian Federation of Chambers of Commerce, told Ala Mas’ouleety’s Ahmed Moussa in a phone-in (watch, runtime 5:19). Flour will be supplied to private bakeries at the price of EGP 8.6k per tonne within 2-3 days, he said, expecting the price to continue to fall to below EGP 8k per tonne over the upcoming period.

There is no decrease in each eligible beneficiary’s share of subsidy ration cards after the EGP devaluation, said Abdel Moneim Khalil, head of internal trade at the Supply Ministry, Ala Mas’ouleety in a phone-in (watch, runtime 10:07). “These are malicious rumors,” he said, adding that there have not been any changes to subsidies.

There are no immediate plans to expand the export ban of staple food commodities to include more goods, but the government is keeping its options open in case of further disruption, Cabinet spokesperson Nader Saad told Al Hayah Al Youm’s Mohamed Sherdy in a phone-in (watch, runtime 9:58). The government will not hesitate to take similar action, if needed, to ensure supplies and maintain price stability, he said. The Trade Ministry has banned the export of basic food commodities — like wheat, flour, oils, and corn — for three months as it looks to shore up supplies amid turmoil in the global food market caused by the conflict in Ukraine.

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