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.