Egypt says wheat stocks enough to last until early May

Cairo | Reuters — Egypt’s stock of wheat for its subsidized bread program will last until the first week of May, well into the start of the local harvest, after it bought 180,000 tonnes this week, Supplies Minister Khaled Hanafi said Friday.

Hanafi said in a statement he expected new silos to come into use in March, in time to receive the local harvest and secure strategic reserves until October.

Egypt, the world’s largest wheat importer, said on Thursday it had bought 180,000 tonnes of French wheat in a tender for shipment Feb. 8-18.

Egypt has bought 3.085 million tonnes of wheat on the international market since July 1, the start of the fiscal year. It purchased 5.46 million tonnes of wheat from overseas in the 2013-2014 fiscal year in addition to 3.7 million tonnes of local wheat.

It aims to cut state imports of wheat in the next year to between four million and 4.5 million tonnes provided reforms to its bread subsidy program continue to reduce consumption.

— Reporting for Reuters by Lin Noueihed from Cairo.

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