EGYPT-Egypt, the largest wheat importer in the world and among the leaders in wheat consumption per capita, has bought 175,000 tonnes of Ukrainian wheat, the first batch since the start of the Ukraine invasion in February.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine caused food and fuel prices to soar, as war and sanctions disrupted supplies from two of the world’s major agriculture produce exporters which account for a quarter of global wheat exports,
Just like other countries, Egypt diversified its supplies of wheat to other nations to fill 82 percent gap that it was left staring at as a result of the Russo-Ukrainian war.
The recent 175,000-tonne batch purchased by the General Supply Authority (GASC) from Ukraine was made directly through negotiations with the private sector, according to a report by Al-Monitor.
The Black Sea grain initiative – an agreement that created procedures to safely export grain from certain ports in Ukraine- played a central role in making this development a success.
A return to the commodity market
This purchase is a key milestone for Ukraine as it could mark a return of Ukrainian wheat to the Egyptian market which for a long time now has been dominated by Russia.
However, Ukraine supplies may still be unreliable following the impact of the Russia -Ukraine conflict that has made post-harvesting operations in Ukraine prohibitively expensive, compelling many farmers to leave planted areas unharvested.
As it stands, Russia is expected to outperform its competitors in the Egyptian wheat market again in the coming months with its exports forecast to reach 43.9 million tonnes in 2022/2023 according to the latest estimates from research firm Sovecon.
Authorities in Egypt plan to import 1 million tonnes of wheat by mid-2023 to strengthen the strategic reserves whose storage capacity reaches 5 million tonnes.
The country consumes about 20 million tons of grain every year and has one of the highest per capita wheat consumption rates in the world at 145 kg.