CAIRO- Egyptians consume between 3.2 and 3.3 million tonnes of sugar per year while the country produces nearly 2.2 million tonnes of sugar from beets and canes yearly, the supply ministry said on Sunday.

In response to the discrepancy between the consumption and production, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has instructed the ministry to develop the country's sugar companies, Supply Minister Ali Moselhi said, at a ceremony marking the expansion of the Delta Sugar Company in Egypt's Kafr el-Sheikh, according to a ministry statement.

"We are one of the most sugar-consuming countries," Moselhi said, adding that a new sugar factory in Egypt's Sharqiya governorate has started producing sugar with a capacity of 200,000 tonnes a year to begin with, and that another factory is on the way.

(Reporting by Maha El Dahan, writing by Lena Masri; Editing by Toby Chopra) ((;))