Egypt increased wheat imports to 12.9 million tonnes in 2020-21 from previous year’s 12.7 million tonnes. Along with this, they also provided incentives to increase the production of wheat at the domestic level to ensure food security.
Wheat Purchases Increased Due to the Pandemic
Egypt increased its wheat imports by 40% in the first two months of the buying season. The wheat imports increased from 1.72 million tonnes in July- August last year to 2.4 million tonnes of wheat this year. The Egyptian supply ministry told Reuters that the political leaders in the had advised them to stock up six months worth of supplies as a preemptive measure. A European trader feels that Egypt is trying to buy wheat before the global prices for the commodity rises.
Increased Wheat Imports From Russia
Egypt imported a large amount of wheat from Russia to fulfil its requirements. The wheat tender is worth 530,000 tonnes and is the largest since the 2012-2013 season, according to Bloomberg. Further, the Russian Harvests are also set to be the highest since 2017. Due to the below-par harvest in Ukraine, France and Romania, Russian wheat will be in demand. Alexander Korbut, vice president of the Russian Grain Union, mentioned to Bloomberg that the Russian crop has high potential. Further, he also said that traders are increasingly interested in selling.
Rise in Domestic Production
Along with imports, domestic production also increased in the country because of the right government incentives. The government reduced the wheat seed price to encourage production. The USDA estimates show that the 2020-21 wheat production of Egypt will reach 8.9 million tonnes. This is 1.5% up from the last year.
In conclusion, we can see that Egypt has undertaken many measures to ensure food security during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, let’s see how the steps will aid in the time of crisis.