Agro Star aims to increase its sales by 20% this year to record sales of $12m, compared to $10m in 2016.
Mohamed Samir, the company’s chairman, said that Agro Star works in the field of importing and exporting grains and deals with different markets. It seeks to increase its sales through expanding the exporting base in 2017.
The company’s exports are estimated at 10,000 tonnes per year, compared to 5,000 tonnes of imports of grain products. Both the local and foreign markets formed the sales of the company last year.
Agro Star exports white beans, Egyptian dry beans, and rice—when allowed to be exported—in addition to some medicinal and aromatic products, such as caraway, fennel, and anise.
The amount of white beans exported by the company is estimated at 6,000 tonnes, in addition to 2,000 tonnes of aromatic herbs, while the remaining amount is distributed throughout other products.
European markets acquire 70% of the company’s exports of herbs and grains, because the decline in temperature helps the company market its products there, while India comes second among countries exported to, followed by Arab countries in third place.
Samir added that the company will launch 70% of the grain imports in the local market. It re-exports the remaining amounts to markets that need them based on the best prices.
The company imports lentils, cowpeas, popcorn, sunflower pulp, zucchini pulp, and some aromatic herbs that it obtains from Syria.
Samir pointed out that the products imported by the company are not produced by Egypt in large amounts. The existing kinds do not suit the taste of consumers abroad.
He said that Agro Star aims to compete strongly in 2017—after the decline of the pound against the dollar and the flotation decision—however, agricultural issues affect the volume of annual exports.
Samir added that Egyptian agricultural products have a good global reputation compared to the products of several other markets in terms of quality and specifications, which helps in their receiving a great demand abroad.
He explained that markets like China need more than a few months in order to reach far markets; however, Egyptian products take only a maximum of 10 days to reach most markets. This is a major factor that should be taken advantage of.
He also pointed out that the moderate Egyptian weather throughout the year allows products to be cultivated more than once a year, unlike in other countries.
He said that the pound flotation gives value to exports after the increase of the dollar value against the local currency, which stimulates the Egyptian market’s desire to develop its presence on the level of foreign markets through increasing product competitiveness.
He added that exports need an improvement in the efforts of commercial representation offices, whose role is to clarify the basis of dealing with markets and the consumers’ needs there.
These offices also provide integrated studies about the needs of foreign markets for Egyptian exporters. They are also responsible for solving problems that arise between exporters and importers.
He explained that Egypt needs to develop the agricultural sector and create a basic foundation for investment in it, which can help achieve the self-sufficiency of crops locally, while allocating the surplus to foreign markets.
He pointed out the importance of working to produce non-traditional crops, which are greatly needed by foreign markets and which can increase the attractiveness of Egyptian products abroad.
He said that scientific research plays a large role in this regard through developing the agricultural lands’ ability to produce higher quality products and developing new seeds with increasing annual productivity, which are things the state must pay more attention to over the upcoming period.
Samir added that Egypt is facing the problem of fragmentation of its holdings and lands, which increases the costs of agricultural production, unlike in large agricultural areas where costs decline by 25%. This requires the reapplication of the new agricultural cycle system.
He explained that the costs of agricultural production have increased over the past period—after the increase of fuel prices within the state’s plan to remove subsidies on fuel—hence, increasing the price of final products, which reduces the chances of exporting them because of weak competition.
Agro Star currently works as a marketer of Egyptian companies abroad to help open new markets through connecting with customers and finishing shipping procedures.
The company deals with about 40 customers in the local market, while it exports from 25 in foreign markets.