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Egypt: wheat imports to be cut by 10%

Egypt’s agriculture minister said Tuesday that the country would cut its state wheat imports this year by around 10%.

Gaza economy 11Enlarge
Palestinian farmers load a combine harvester with wheat during the annual harvest season in Rafah, near the Egyptian border, in the southern Gaza Strip on May 22, 2012. (Said Khatib/AFP/Getty Images)

Egypt’s agriculture minister said Tuesday that the country would cut its state wheat imports this year by around 10 percent.

Egypt typically imports 75 percent of its wheat, according to Frontier Data Corp.

However, Egypt’s hard currency reserves have diminished over the past two years as the country has endured political unrest since President Hosni Mubarak was ousted. Egypt today is less able to afford wheat or fuel on the international market.

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Some analysts estimate that Egypt only has enough wheat stocks to last 82 days, according to Frontier Data Corp.

To make up for the decrease in imports, the Egyptian government is aiming to increase local wheat production to 9 million to 10 million tons a year in an undisclosed time frame, state news agency MENA reported, according to Reuters.

In a Mar. 31 cabinet meeting, government ministers agreed to spend 11 billion pounds to buy up around 4.5 million tones of wheat from local farmers in 2013, according to MENA.
 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/egypt/130403/egypt-wheat-imports-be-cut-10