EGYPT – Egypt has regained its position as the leading importer of Russian wheat in the recently concluded agricultural year of 2023/2024, marking a significant increase in its procurement by 6% compared to the previous year.

According to data from Rusagrotrans, Russia’s primary agricultural freight forwarder, Egypt’s wheat purchases from Russia soared to 8.6 million tons, reclaiming the top importer status from Turkey after a two-year hiatus.

North Africa continues to dominate as a pivotal region for wheat imports, absorbing more than 60% of global shipments.

Within this region, Egypt stands out as the primary destination for Russian wheat, despite a 24% reduction in its overall imports to 7 million tons, buoyed by an uptick in domestic harvests.

The Egyptian government, however, has been working towards reducing its wheat import target for the current year. It aims to cut imports by 17 percent to a new target of 5 million tons.

This strategic decision is underpinned by an increase in the domestic wheat supply target, which has been raised to 3.7 million tons, up from the prior target of 3.5 million tons, a part of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s broader initiative to expand the nation’s agricultural land through a comprehensive land reclamation program.

Announcing the initiative recently, President El-Sisi emphasized that the land reclamation program targets approximately 3.5 million feddans, a substantial expansion equivalent to nearly one-third of Egypt’s existing agricultural land.

Positively, Egypt has received a total of 3.551 million tons of local wheat from farmers this season, surpassing the target for this year, Minister of Supply and Internal Trade Ali Moselhy has announced.

Moselhy also said that the strategic reserves of wheat have been sufficient for 6.6 months.

However, the country has yet to attain sufficiency in wheat.

The surge in Egyptian imports comes amidst a broader trend where Russia’s global wheat export share has ascended to 28%, up from a previous 25%.

Throughout the 2023/2024 period, Russia exported a substantial 55.4 million tons of wheat out of 200 million tons globally.

Beyond Egypt, Algeria has also shown a notable increase in its procurement of Russian wheat, recording a 9% rise to a record 2.34 million tons, highlighting a growing preference for Russian wheat across North Africa.

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