Egypt has harvested over 700,000 wheat feddan since April
Egypt has harvested more than 700,000 feddans of local wheat since the April 1 harvest season.
Egyptian Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said the country had set aside $59.69 million for a down payment to state grain buyers to buy wheat from local farmers.
As one of the world’s largest wheat importers, Egypt is heavily dependent on supplies from Ukraine and Russia, and its government has sought alternative supplies from countries such as India and France.
Supply Minister Ali al-Moselhi said Egypt has 2.6 million tons of imported wheat and aims to collect 5.5-6 million tons of local grain; Therefore, strategic wheat reserves can last 6-9 months.
Meanwhile, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said Ukraine is the eighth wheat producer with about 25 million tons and fifth in corn production with 3.3 million tons.
FOA said that due to the war with Russia, nearly 25 million tons of grain were stuck in Ukraine with blockades in ports
Food prices remain high despite the decline, mainly due to the combination of military conflict in Ukraine and sanctions against Russia.
The FAO’s food price index fell just 0.8 percent compared to March.
Josef Schmidhuber, FAO Deputy Director, Markets and Trade Department, described the situation as “grotesque”.
“We are seeing in Ukraine at the moment almost 25 million tons of grain that could be exported, but simply cannot leave the country due to the lack of infrastructure, the blockade of the ports.”
Another concern was that around 700,000 tons of grain in Ukraine may have “disappeared”.
Schmidhuber warned that there were no “statistics” about possible thefts.
“There is anecdotal evidence that Russian troops have destroyed storage capacity and that they are looting available stored grain,” he said. “They also steal agricultural equipment.”
According to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), the loss of the Ukraine as a grain supplier particularly jeopardizes the feeding of the African population.
IfW trade researcher Henrik Mahlkow explained that Ukraine is likely to be cut off from the global economy as a result of the war, after trade routes have been cut, infrastructure destroyed and all remaining production factors are likely to be converted to a war economy.
“Since the country is one of the most important grain exporters in the world and particularly relevant for Africa, the loss of Ukraine as a supplier will noticeably worsen the supply situation on the entire continent,” said Mahlkow.
According to the institute, the consequences would also be felt in Germany, albeit far less dramatically.
The institute’s economists created a trade model to simulate Africa’s long-term consequences of a halt to exports of Ukrainian wheat and other food grains, such as corn and sorghum.
Cereals used as animal feed, such as maize, were not included in the model calculations. Accordingly, Tunisia and Egypt in particular would be negatively affected.
Egypt would import over 17 percent less wheat and almost 19 percent less other grains, while South Africa would import 7 percent less wheat and over 16 percent less other grains.