Egypt wheat stocks to last until end of March -minister

Wednesday 12-11-2014 11:59 AM
Egypt wheat stocks to last until end of March -minister

CAIRO, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Egypt's stock of wheat for its subsidised bread programme will last until the end of March, just before the local harvest begins, Supplies Minister Khaled Hanafi told Reuters.

The world's largest wheat importer, Egypt bought 235,000 tonnes of French and Ukrainian wheat last Wednesday for shipment on Dec. 11-20.

The government has bought 2.19 million tonnes of wheat on the international market since July 1, the start of the fiscal year.

Egypt purchased 5.46 million tonnes of wheat from abroad in the 2013-2014 fiscal year in addition to 3.7 million tonnes of local wheat.

Minister Hanafi told Reuters in an interview late on Tuesday that the government planned to buy roughly the same amount from local farmers in the harvest which begins in mid-April and runs to mid-July.

He declined to give details about import plans for the second half of the fiscal year.

He has said Egypt aims to cut state imports of wheat in the next year to between 4 million and 4.5 million tonnes provided reforms to its bread subsidy programme continued to reduce consumption and waste. (Reporting by Ehab Farouk; writing by Maggie Fick; editing by Jason Neely)

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