Egypt Purchases and Production of Wheat in Times of COVID-19
Largest wheat importer
Egypt has a reputation as the largest wheat importer in the world. Wheat takes as much as almost 10 percent of the value of all agricultural goods produced domestically. What is more, this grain represents about 20 percent of all Egyptian agricultural imports. In the current marketing year 2020/2021, Egypt is foreseen to purchase 12.9 million tonnes of this commodity, comparing it to previous years’ purchase of 12.7 million tonnes.
In the 2020-2021 season, the Arab country supplied itself with wheat from the Russian Federation (2.3 million tonnes), Ukraine (530 thousand tonnes), and Romania (60 thousand tonnes). Recently due to the country’s COVID-19 related policies, imports from Russia significantly increased. On the 22nd of September 2020, the biggest wheat import quota since the 2012-2013 season took place. As Bloomberg reported, “Egypt’s state buyer booked 530,000 tons of Russian wheat in a tender”. So far in this season, Russia’s supplies make up 80% of Egypt’s purchases.
Meanwhile, a boost in imports, domestic wheat production, unquestionably increased. The enhancement of the agricultural output is connected to the government to move to lower the price of seeds. The affordable price of wheat seed encouraged local farmers to intensify production. Following, the USDA forecasts, the 2020-21 wheat production of Egypt will go up by 1,5 percent, reaching 8.9 million tonnes.