Friday 12 July 2024

Egypt bans domestic trading of imported wheat

CAIRO, April 6, 2016

Egypt has banned the trading of imported wheat inside the country, Supply Minister Khaled Hanafi said on Wednesday, a move which could reduce smuggling of the grain that cost the country hundreds of millions of dollars last year.

Egypt, the world's largest wheat importer, annually fixes a local procurement price for Egyptian wheat that is above global prices in an attempt to encourage farmers to grow the crop.

As Reuters detailed in a special report in March, the higher local price led to record smuggling last year of cheap foreign wheat passed off as local crop. The wide scale fraud cost Egypt nearly E€2 billion in public funds ($225 million).

Those caught trading imported wheat domestically will be subject to a jail sentence of six months to one year and a fine of E€500 to E€1,000 ($56-$113), the statement said.

Egypt's wheat harvest begins in April and runs through July. Last year the government said it procured a record 5.3 million tonnes of the grain, up from 3.7 million tonnes the year before.

Industry sources say that roughly 2 million tonnes of last year's procurement actually came from abroad. - Reuters

Tags: Egypt | wheat |

More Industry, Logistics & Shipping Stories

calendarCalendar of Events