EGYPT – Egypt earned US$2.6 billion from food industry exports in the first seven months of 2023, Minister of Trade and Industry Ahmed Samir has revealed.

This was an increase of 10.5% from the US$2.3 billion that was recorded during the same period in 2022 as per the data released by the Export Council for Food Industries (ECFI).

The seven-month increase was driven by a 13 percent rise in the country’s food exports to Arab nations, with an overall value of US$1.361 million.

European Union reported a growth rate of 8 percent (US$513 million) to take the second place, followed by non-Arab African nations with a 7 percent increase ($190 million), according to the ECFI.

Flour was the most exported commodity with values of US$260 million followed by Sugar (US$252 million) and strawberries (US$229 million) respectively, noted the ECFI.

Despite being a desert nation, Egypt has mastered irrigation and is one of the largest food producers and exporters on the African continent.

For the full year 2022 Egypt exported about 6.5 million tons of agriculture products at a value of US$3.3 billion, according to Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation El-Sayed El-Quseir.

The top products were citruses, potatoes, fresh onions, grapes, fresh tomatoes, sweet potatoes, strawberries, guava, garlic, mango, watermelon, and pomegranates.

Egypt seems to be on track to surpass the 2022 record. According to a July statement from El-Qusair, the country exported a total of 4.65 million tons of agricultural products during the first five months of 2023.

This was an increase of 717,896 tons from the 3.90 million tons exported during the same period in 2022.

Revenue from these exports is critical in maintaining the country’s forex reserves which have recently come under pressure due to various factors including a negative trade balance.

For instance, during the first 7 months of 2023, Egypt’s trade balance deficit fell by 20.8 percent reaching US$17.84 billion compared to US$22.52 billion in the same period in 2022, reported the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).

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