Egypt- The General Authority in Charge of Raw Materials (GASC) has floated a public tender to purchase maize, the first time the public body embarks on such an approach concerning maize in Egypt.
Egypt is known to be the world’s leading wheat importer due to its high consumption of nearly 20 metric tonnes annually.
However, Maize consumption is slightly low but the demand for the commodity is progressively taking shape.
Over the past decade, global maize needs have increased significantly due to the increasing demand for animal feed to cater to emerging consumers’ trends for healthy diets.
In Egypt, the development of the poultry industry and the rise of aquaculture are the main drivers of imports on the world market.
The country’s demand for animal feed currently represents 85% of the total consumption of maize which exceeds 16 million tonnes per year.
Meanwhile, GASC plans to raise tender for maize purchases intended for animal feed needs according to the independent provider of information and analysis for the energy and raw materials markets, S&P Global Platts.
The move by GASC marks the first time a public body embarks on such an advance regarding maize, a sector whose acquisitions on the international market have so far been made by the private sector.
The country is at the peak of a delicate economic context marked by a continuous fall in the Egyptian pound against the dollar.
This has forced the country’s central bank to impose restrictions to limit the outflow of foreign currencies.
However, the restrictions coupled with the difficulties experienced by operators in obtaining the letters of credit necessary to pay for imports have led to constraints in feed manufacturing due to maize shortage.
According to data relayed by Global Platts, the country thus imported only 924,000 tonnes in the last quarter of 2022, a drop of 74% compared to the same period a year earlier (3.63 million tonnes).
While the volume targeted by the GASC has not been specified, Global Platts says the commodity will be settled with funding from the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC).
The GASC volume is expected to sufficiently replenish animal feedstocks (poultry and aquaculture) and bring down the prices of food rations.