January 24, 2024

 

Fourth straight year of downtrend expected for Egypt's wheat imports

 

 

 

Egypt's wheat imports are set to decline for a fourth year in a row.

 

The country is forecasted to import 11 million tonnes of wheat in the 2023/24 period, down 2% year-on-year. The projected decline comes as domestic wheat stocks in Egypt are expected to drop to the lowest level in 20 years.

 

Egypt's cost of importing wheat has risen sharply as the Egyptian pound has lost value against the US dollar. The country's wheat import prices are currently close to the highs that followed Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022. By contrast, its wheat import costs expressed in US dollars are down 21% year on year, according to the Gro Food Securities Tracker (Africa).

 

Russia is the top wheat exporter to Egypt, with substantial supplies also coming from Ukraine. Amid the Russia-Ukraine war, Egypt has had to seek out additional sources of the grain, including France.

 

Egypt's own wheat crop, which was planted in the September-November period, is facing some adverse growing conditions, including severe drought as measured by the Gro Drought Index. Although most of the crop is under irrigation, NDVI index readings, a key measure of crop health, have been declining since mid-November and the index is currently at one of the lowest levels in more than two decades, according to Gro's Climate Risk Navigator for Agriculture. 

 

Egypt's wheat, which will be harvested in mid-April through June, still has time to recover if conditions improve.

 

- Gro Intelligence

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