Egypt's wheat import bill declined 13% this year - supply minister

"A complete information framework was created to oversee the management, transportation and trading of wheat, which allowed the import bill to decline 13% this year," Ali Moselhy said

  
An Egyptian farmer puts bundles of freshly harvested wheat on a threshing machine during the launch of the Government's local wheat harvest at a field in Beni Suef, south of Cairo, Egypt April 24, 2017.

An Egyptian farmer puts bundles of freshly harvested wheat on a threshing machine during the launch of the Government's local wheat harvest at a field in Beni Suef, south of Cairo, Egypt April 24, 2017.

REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

CAIRO - Egypt's wheat import bill declined 13% this year, the country's supply minister said on Tuesday, in line with reduced imports of other key commodities.

"A complete information framework was created to oversee the management, transportation and trading of wheat, which allowed the import bill to decline 13% this year," Ali Moselhy said in a speech.

The world's largest wheat importer has increased its milling capacity to 3.4 million tonnes and aims to reach 5 million, he added, and has reserves sufficient for six and a half months of consumption.

On Monday, Egypt's state grains buyer the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) bought 60,000 tonnes of Romanian wheat in an international tender. 

Egypt's sugar reserves are sufficient for six months, and vegetable oil reserves cover five and a half months of consumption, he said.

Egypt reduced its sugar imports from 1 million tonnes to 200,000 tonnes this year. It has also reduced its vegetable oil imports, with 42% of the supply produced domestically.

GASC is seeking an unspecified quantity of vegetable oils in local and domestic tenders on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Omar Fahmy, writing by Nafisa Eltahir, editing by Louise Heavens) ((Nafisa.Eltahir@thomsonreuters.com;))


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