EGYPT – Amid soaring food prices and ongoing inflation, Egypt’s Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade announced it has purchased 250,000 tons of rice to support Egypt’s strategic rice reserves for six months.

According to the ministry statement, the new shipment will be made available at competitive prices with the intention of stabilizing the market.

This announcement comes at a time when Egypt’s annual headline inflation decelerated to 38 percent in September, down from 39.7 percent in August.

However, it remains above the 15 percent recorded in September 2022, according to official data.

Ahmed Samir, Minister of Trade and Industry revealed that the area used for rice cultivation in the new season, which commenced in mid-September, reached 1.6 million acres, while Egyptian consumption amounts to about 3.2 million tons.

Therefore, the recent rice purchase is part of Egypt’s efforts to enhance the supply of basic goods in the market to control increasing prices and boost people’s purchasing power.

According to him, this procurement is in line with President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s directives to bolster strategic reserves of vital commodities. 

Last week, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly held a press conference to unveil an ambitious plan aimed at combating the country’s surging inflation and the relentless rise in food commodity prices.

During the conference, Madbouly announced that the Egyptian government has agreed with producers and retailers to cut prices of several food commodities by 15% to 25% for six months starting Saturday, October 14.

These commodities include beans, dairy products, white cheese, mixed cooking oil, pasta, sugar, lentils, poultry products, eggs, and rice.

He emphasized that inflation is a global issue, with nations worldwide grappling with its consequences.

“Part of the problem with high prices for commodities is scarcity of supply,” noted Madbouly.

However, Madbouly reassured the public that the government is working diligently to implement measures that will help curb this economic strain.

Madbouly pointed out that the government will exempt manufacturers and retailers from customs duties imposed on these commodities as well as speed up customs clearance procedures at ports for the next six months.