Approximately 120m tons of wheat will arrive in January 2015, marking the delivery of all contracts signed between Egypt and Russia during 2014, the Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade announced. The supplied wheat will be sufficient until the end of April 2015, the ministry added.
The ministry added that the contracts with Russia are binding and that there is no delivery crisis. Earlier this month, President of the Agricultural Professions Syndicate, Abdel-Salam Gomaa, assured that Egypt’s wheat imports were not affected by the US and EU economic restriction on Russia’s grain exports.
The government will start receiving local wheat with farmers and traders by mid-April for EGP 420 per ardeb. Between 3.6m tons and 3.7m tons are expected to be received from local suppliers, raising the strategic wheat reserve and allow it to last until the end of October.
The supply ministry provided reassurance that local wheat will be preserved with the help of modern technology, to avoid climate and storage damage.
Mohamed Ali Mousa, a wheat expert with the Agricultural Research Centre, previously told Daily News Egypt that the estimated annual wheat losses due to improper handling during production and manufacturing amounts to approximately EGP 4.2bn.
He added that losses due to poor practices have reached 609,000 tonnes, of which 315,000 tonnes are considered human consumption losses due to poor bread baking. Another 156,400 tonnes are lost during the hay harvest and during transport from the field to the storage silos.
During 2014, the Egyptian government mainly imported wheat from Russia, Romania, Canada, France, Argentine, the US and Ukraine.
The ministry said importing wheat is done through international stock market, adding that no specific country is favoured.
In October, Minister of Supply and Internal Trade Khaled Hanafy announced that three international logistics centres for food commodities are to be constructed in Damietta, East Port Said, and Safaga.
Hanafy said that the grain centre will protect Egypt and the Arab region for the fluctuations witnessed in the wheat market.