The Sugar Committee, headed by Minister of Supply and Internal Trading Khaled Hanafy, decided to maintain the stability of sugar prices in ministry outlets and in private sector markets despite the global volatility of prices in order to provide sugar at low prices for citizens, especially low-income citizens, and to increase its strategic reserves of sugar during the coming period.
This came during the monthly meeting of the Sugar Committee. The meeting included the heads of councils in the sugar industry from the public and private sectors as well as a number of sugar producers and importers.
Hanafy said that the ministry introduced strategic reserves of sugar which are within safe limits and will provide enough sugar for a year. The ministry also introduced refining energies for all public and private sector sugar mills, which amount to about 4m tonnes a year. This will work at full capacity to ensure the availability of sugar in the markets, consumer complexes, wholesale stores, and grocery ration shops at reasonable prices throughout the year.
Hanafy added that Egypt consumes over 3m tonnes of sugar annually. Egyptian Sugar and Integrated Industries Company (ESIIC) produces about 1m tonnes of sugarcane and about 400,000 tonnes of refined sugar in partnership with some companies. The private sector produces large quantities of sugar beets as well.
Egypt imports 50,000 tonnes of refined sugar through a range of importers, which represents less than 1% of the annual volume of consumption.
The government decided in May to exempt importers of raw sugar from customs duties from 20 May until the end of this year. It also imposed a duty on sugar exports of EGP 900 per tonne.