Egypt: Grain Reserves Enough for Just Three Months

Suez Canal revenues have fallen more than 50% compared to the recent years average

Mostafa Madbouly

The Egyptian government is sounding the alarm: the North African country is rapidly depleting its strategic reserves of essential foods. According to Egyptian Minister of Supply and Internal Trade Ali al-Moselhi, Egypt “has enough wheat to meet the country’s needs for up to three months.”

Strategic sugar stocks are not a concern and are sufficient to cover the needs of Egyptian consumers for seven months. Frozen meat stocks will last less than three months, and Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said that “the government is taking into account the need to increase strategic stocks of essential commodities by at least 20% in order to ensure stability in consumer food prices.” Egypt’s inflation rate reached 29.9% in March 2024, while the target set by the Madbouly government for the entire 2024 is 7 percent.

The Red Sea crisis, which erupted after deliberate attacks by Yemeni Houthis on transit merchant ships, has significantly reduced the revenue Egypt receives from shipping through the Suez Canal. According to Prime Minister Madbouly, “Egypt is the country most affected by the Red Sea crisis. Revenues from the Suez Canal have fallen by more than 50% compared to the recent years average.” As a result, Egypt is suffering from a severe shortage of foreign currency, with reserves depleted by more than 60 percent in the first three months of the year.