For the past few months, the world wheat market has been calm, despite the war between Russia and Ukraine. Among the main importers, the room for maneuver is greater.
In Egypt, the General Supply Authority (GASC) acquired 175,000 tonnes of wheat from Ukraine towards the end of November. This is reported by the local daily Al-Monitor, several sources close to the industry.
This purchase made directly through negotiations with the private sector is the first made by the country of the pharaohs from Ukraine since the start of the war with Russia on February 24. It was made possible by the maritime agreement on the Black Sea applied since last August, allowing the export of Ukrainian cereals and which was renewed on November 17.
According to observers, this acquisition could mark a return of Ukrainian wheat to the Egyptian market in a context where Russia has dominated supplies to the country of the pharaohs in recent months. Last November, the GASC notably bought 580,000 tonnes of it from exporters in the former USSR.
More generally, Russia is expected to outperform its competitors in the Egyptian wheat market again in the coming months with its exports forecast to reach 43.9 million tonnes in 2022/2023 according to the latest estimates from research firm Sovecon.
In Egypt, the authorities plan to import one million tonnes of wheat by mid-2023 to strengthen the strategic reserves whose storage capacity reaches 5 million tonnes. The country consumes about 20 million tons of the grain every year.