Egypt’s wheat ending stocks in 2023/24 MY are forecast to fall to the lowest level in 20 years as the country faces smaller harvest, higher demand and changing trade flows, according to the report of the Global Agricultural Information Network of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The decline in wheat production year-on-year is due to the reduction of harvested areas to 1.35 mln ha compared to 1.45 mln ha in 2022/23, USDA reported.
The agency noted that in an attempt to increase local wheat production and sell its wheat to state suppliers, the Egyptian government in April last year increased the purchase price of wheat by almost 70% compared to the previous marketing year.
It is expected that the consumption of wheat in Egypt will increase in 2023/24 by 50 thsd tonnes to 20.6 mln tonnes, which will be the second highest in the history of observations. According to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization, Egypt’s population is currently approximately 105 million people, but this does not include an estimated 9 million migrants from Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, and other countries. Egypt’s population (excluding migrants) is expected to reach 124 million by 2030, putting even more pressure on wheat supply.
According to forecasts, Egypt will import 7% more wheat, up to 12 million tons in 2023-24 marketing year, the report says. According to the USDA, the largest exporters of wheat to Egypt in 2022-23 were Russia (8.1 mln tonnes) and the European Union (1.8 mln tonnes).
Before the Russian invasion, Ukraine was the leading supplier of wheat to Egypt.