Egypt has sufficient strategic sugar reserves equivalent to six months of consumption, Minister of Supply Aly Moselhy said on Monday. However, the minister did not specify the exact amount of these reserves.
Last week, Egypt cancelled a tariff imposed last year on sugar exports, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said in a statement received on Wednesday, in a move that opens the door for exports to resume.
The Egyptian government imposed a tariff of EGP 3,000 ($168.26) per tonne on sugar exports in 2107 as part of efforts to stem a rise in sugar prices in the local market.
The tariff came in response to the sugar shortage that took place in 2016, where the Egyptian authorities at the time blamed traders and suppliers for hoarding and smuggling goods, and seized sugar in raids on factories and warehouses for resale to the public at subsidised prices.
Earlier in June, the Businesspersons Association for Investment and Manufacturing has demanded the government to raise the price of sugarcane supply by EGP 300 to reach EGP 1,200 per tonne, to match expenses due to increases in diesel prices, which has sharply increased recently.
Upper Egypt produces about 2.8m tonnes of sugar and consumption is about 4m tonnes annually, which drives the government to import all its sugar needs with hard currency, which drains foreign exchange reserves.
In January, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi instructed the government to increase the prices of sugarcane supply to factories to produce sugar by EGP 20 to reach EGP 720 for each tonne.