The Nile Company for Food Industries aims to increase the volume of its sales this year by 42%, reaching $10m, compared to $7bn achieved last year.
Mahmoud Hendy, the company’s chairperson, said that achieving the company’s aims will be a result of expanding in current markets and increasing export amounts.
Annual production capacity of the Nile Company is estimated at 600 tonnes of vegetables and fruits. It exports 95% of production and sells the remaining amount on the local market. It produces strawberries, apricots, mangos, guavas, pomegranates, okra, and artichokes.
EU countries acquire about 75% of the company’s annual exports, followed by Iraq with 15%, the US and England with 5% each, and an even smaller percentage of exports to Lebanon.
The company has 14 clients in the markets it exports to around the world, including four agents in Italy and three others in Germany.
Hendy added that food industries need more joint efforts between the government and the private sector to be developed.
He explained that the obstacles facing the food sector are internal rather than external. The sector requires coordination between the government administrations responsible for exporting and increasing export support during the upcoming period.
He pointed out that the decision to float the Egyptian pound last November was supposed to increase the ability of exports to conquer foreign markets and compete against large countries.
He said that the pound devaluation against the dollar helps exporting companies adjust their prices to those of other markets and strengthens competition. However, there are many obstacles to prevent this from happening.
The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) liberalised the pound exchange rate of foreign currencies, making the dollar reach EGP 18 on average in banks, compared to EGP 8.88 before flotation.
Hendy noted that the increase of local production and the incomplete plan to develop exports are the main obstacles for exporters of food, who seek to fully take advantage of the flotation decision.
The flotation decision provides an advantage for exporters to benefit from; however, the industry’s reliance on imported raw materials makes it lose this advantage.
He explained that the sector imports a large amount of raw materials that require the hard currency’s provision in prices that are suitable for the market in order to adjust the production costs in a way that suits the abilities of local consumers and competitor exporters from other countries.
The increase of production costs, including energy, electricity, and gas costs last year, has caused a disruption for the company, according to Hendy.
He pointed out that the value of production is measured by the company’s annual business growth; however, the situation in Egypt requires more economic reforms to develop exports.
He added that paying attention to local industry and increasing companies’ production capacities will result in a decline of production costs and increase the companies’ abilities to export.
He added that being present in international exhibitions, which include foreign import and export companies, provides Egyptian exporters with great advantages by contracting with new clients to increase the volume of exports.
He explained that exhibitions allow getting acquainted with modern technologies and all that is new in the sector.