An Egyptian farmer using a machine to separate seeds from wheat - Asmaa Waguih/Reuters
CAIRO, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Egypt, the world's biggest wheat importer, will stop purchasing wheat until March 2015, the supplies minister said on Saturday.
"After the recent purchase of 175,000 tonnes of French and Russian wheat to produce subsidized bread, the strategic reserve of wheat is enough to last until the first week of next March," Supplies Minister Khaled Hanafi said in a statement.
The recent purchase consisted of 120,000 tonnes of French wheat and 55,000 tonnes of Russian wheat at an average price of $245.25 per ton, the supplies ministry said.
It was the tenth purchase of the current fiscal year and is expected to be delivered from Nov. 11 to 20, the supplies ministry said.
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.
Hanafi said last week Egypt aimed to cut its state imports of wheat in the next year to between 4 million and 4.5 million tonnes provided reforms to the country's bread subsidy program continue to reduce consumption and waste. (Reporting By Shadi Bushra; Editing by Toby Chopra)