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Egypt: private wheat mills shut due to supply crisis

AL MINUFIYAH, EGYPT - MAY 14: Farmers harvest wheat to increase local wheat production in order to fill the wheat shortage in the country in Al Minufiyah, one of the important grain production centers of Egypt on May 14, 2022. The Russia-Ukraine war had a negative impact on Egypt, the world's largest wheat importer. ( Mohamed Abdel Hamid - Anadolu Agency )
Farmers harvest wheat to increase local wheat production in order to fill the wheat shortage in the country in Al Minufiyah, one of the important grain production centers of Egypt on May 14, 2022 [Mohamed Abdel Hamid/Anadolu Agency]

Most private flour mills in Egypt, the world's largest importer of wheat, have been forced to shut down due to a supply crisis, Africa Intelligence website revealed on Monday.

Wheat stocks blocked in Egyptian ports are apparently only being released in small amounts amid a shortage of US dollars to pay suppliers. Between 600,000 and 650,000 tonnes are still stuck in the ports.

The crisis began six months ago when the prices of unsubsidised bread in Egypt spiked and importers struggled to pay for the wheat stocks that are blocked in the system. The major disruption of Egypt's wheat processing sector continues, said the website, as Egypt, awaits an IMF loan due next month.

Only a handful of major players are managing to get wheat supplies in the country. Many smaller flour mills may not survive the crisis, added Africa Intelligence.

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