Egypt, Top Wheat Buyer, Sees 4 Million Tons of State Imports

Wheat purchases by the state grain buyer in Egypt, the world’s biggest importer of the cereal, are predicted to be 4 million metric tons in the coming season, a government adviser said.

Egypt has 2 million tons of stockpiled wheat and another 120,000 tons on the way, Reda Aggag, who advises Supply Minister Bassem Oda, said in an interview in Cairo yesterday. Local inventories are enough to meet demand for about three months, according to Aggag.

The government uses the wheat to make subsidized bread that helps feed the Arab world’s most populous nation. The state buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities, imported or tendered for 3.44 million tons of the grain in the current 2012-13 season with no plans for more purchases, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

Egypt is setting import-procurement policies based on excessive estimates of local wheat production, the USDA unit wrote in a report this month.

Total Egyptian wheat imports are estimated by the FAS at 8.5 million tons for the 2013-14 season starting in July, up from 8 million tons a year earlier. Stockpiles will fall to 3.02 million tons by the end of June 2014, down 21 percent from a year-earlier estimate, the FAS said in a report on its website April 9.

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