Egypt procures 3 million tonnes of wheat since start of harvest

Egypt, the world’s largest importer of wheat, has procured 3 million tonnes of wheat from local farmers since the start of its local harvest season in mid-April, the supply ministry announced Monday.

The government previously said it plans to buy about 4-4.5 million tonnes of wheat from farmers this season, but in April the supply minister Ali Moselhy lowered the figure to around 3.8 million tonnes. Egypt’s wheat-harvest season lasts for three months.

Egypt consumes 9.5 million tonnes of wheat to make its subsidised bread – 4 million tonnes from the local harvest and 5.5 million tonnes from imported wheat.

The ministry said it would provide a premium to farmers of 15 Egyptian pounds ($0.83) per tonne for wheat stored and transported in jute bags and 10 pounds per tonne for wheat stored in silos located far from production areas with over 50 percent empty storage capacity.

The local harvest runs through July but the supply ministry has said it plans to continue making international purchases this year to boost the country’s strategic reserves.

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