Egypt comes high on the list of 18 countries that import the largest amounts of grains, especially wheat and corn, according to the International Grains Council (IGC). Egyptians gobble up some 220 million loaves of bread daily. On average, an Egyptian consumes 180 kilograms of flour every year, compared to the international average of 90 kilograms. Egypt uses an amount of wheat equivalent to that used by 37 European countries combined.
The IGC expects Egypt’s production of grains to increase from 15.2 million tons in 2009 to 15.5 tons in 2010, which indicates that Egypt’s imports of grains are projected to drop from 15 million tons last year to 13 million tons in 2010. Imports of wheat and corn in particular are expected to decrease as local production increases in 2010.
The IGC report also said local production of wheat is predicted to increase by 300,000 tons in 2010, bringing the total of wheat production to 8.2 million tons, compared to 7.9 million tons the year before.
The report, of which the Ministry of Trade and Industry received a copy, predicts wheat imports could drop from 9.9 million tons in 2009 to around 8.2 million tons in 2010, and corn imports from 5.2 million tons to 4.7 million tons as local production is boosted.
Egyptians consume around 220 million loaves of subsidized bread daily, representing an average of three loaves per individual, said Alaa Hasaballah el-Baheth, a member of the Scientific Association for Food Industries. The bread subsidy is L.E22 billion a year, he added.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.