The Sudanese government has announced that wheat subsidies will be lifted. Sudanese authorities say that imports will be carried out by the private sector and claim that despite the abandonment of subsidies, bread prices will not increase due to competition.
lanned to take effect at the beginning of January, and will leave wheat imports to the private sector, a finance ministry official said to Reuters. Bread prices would not increase, however, because of competition between companies importing wheat, State Minister for Finance Magdi Hassan Yaseen claimed. The government would buy locally-produced wheat at encouraging prices, he said. Sudan imported 2 million tons of wheat in 2017, Yaseen said. Local wheat production was 445 thousand tons. The North African country said this week it will devalue the Sudanese pound to 18 SDG per U.S. dollar, from a current official rate of 6.7 per dollar, weeks after the International Monetary Fund urged it to float its currency.
The IMF also said Sudan must make tough economic reforms, including phasing out wheat and fuel subsidies. Yaseen ruled out lifting subsidies on fuel and vital medicines.
The import-dependent country has suffered both from the sanctions and from the secession of South Sudan in 2011, when it lost three-quarters of its oil output, its main source of foreign currency.