Egypt expanded its grain silo storage capacity by 5.9% in 2019 to 3.6 million tonnes, the cabinet said in a statement. Capacity had been 3.4 million tonnes at the end of 2018, the statement said. The Egyptian government plans to further expand its available silo capacity. "The government aims to open five more silos, which are ready now," the statement added.
Last year, the government took several measures to increase its capacity. In September, a loan agreement was signed with Italy to establish 10 silos. The deal was worth USD 22.7 million and was also aimed at implementing a technology system in the wheat management sector. Egyptian government also signed a USD 14 million agreement with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to establish two wheat silos in the western Port Said.
The country remains the world’s largest wheat importer. Wheat imports for the current 2018/19 marketing year are estimated at 12.5 million tonnes, about 15 percent above the average of the last five years. In the 2019/20 marketing year, wheat import requirements are expected to remain at the same level. The three largest suppliers in the 2018/19 marketing year were the Russia (7.2 million tonnes), Ukraine (1.6 million tonnes) and Romania. Egypt imports about 40 percent of its food requirements and incurs a total food import bill of USD2.5 billion per year.