EGYPT – Importation of food products during the first five months of 2015 recorded EGP 5.16bn, declining by 31.5% compared to the same period last year, where food imports registered EGP 7.53bn.

The Ministry of Finance pointed out that several products were imported for the month of Ramadan, which included EGP 259.96m worth of nuts and dried fruits. Dried apricots were imported for EGP 31.5m, while dates were imported for EGP 64.51m.

The finance ministry stated that several steps were taken to prepare for Ramadan.  Customs authorities at ports will function 24 hours during the fasting month, to make sure all food products are released before going bad.

The products’ exit from ports will also be facilitated following examination and taking test samples, the ministry noted.

Minister of Supply and Internal Trade Khaled Hanafy announced Tuesday that 67 food exhibitions have been held so far to prepare for the month of Ramadan. He added that over 540 food outlets are functioning in different governorates.

Earlier this month, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) reported that annual inflation rate in Egypt reached 13.5% in May 2015, compared to 11% in April 2015, an increase of 2.5%.

The agency attributed the high rate of inflation to the increase in the prices of food and drinks, which rose by 2.5% in May to reach 195.6, points, while they stood at 190.8 in April. The prices also rose by about 15.6%, compared to May 2014.

Vegetable prices increased by 7.7%, meat and poultry by 2.7%, fruits by 0.8%, seafood by 0.6%, and sugar increased by 1.1%, according to the statement.

June 20, 2015;