Sources at the Ministry of Supply said that the ministry is continuing to pump large amounts of sugar, both subsidised and free, into consumer complexes, commercial chains, and grocery stores in a bid to control market prices.
The sources said that the crisis is almost over. “We have enough sugar supply, but public panic pushes citizens to buy more than their needs, which stresses the market,” the sources noted.
Egypt produced a total of 2.2m tonnes of sugar in 2015 and consumed 3.1m tonnes, creating a shortage of some 900,000 tonnes. Harvest of production begins in February of each year.
The Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade said on Friday in a press release that it is ready to secure necessary quantities of sugar for commercial chains through the Food Industries Holding Company (FIHC).
Sugar has been disappearing from shelves over the past few weeks. Shortage caused the price to hike from EGP 5 per kilogramme to EGP 9-10 per kilogramme.
The ministry said that it has been pumping sugar into the free market and stores, as well as its complexes and outlets.
The press release noted that sugar is also supplied to governorates in coordination with governors.
The sugar crisis was further compounded when private companies halted their import operations as the commodity price went up in the international market, especially in light of the nation’s shortage of US dollar reserves.
The price of raw sugar surged to 23 cents compared to 13 cents in early 2016, up by 10 cents. Each cent translates into $22, which caused an increase of $220 per tonne.
Following the emergence of the shortage, the ministry said it contracted for the import of 134,000 tonnes of white sugar to be put to the market next month.