CAIRO: The Egyptian government has resumed rice exports of 1m tonnes per year, the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI) announced on Thursday.
In an statement to thank the government for responding to their demand, the FEI explained that Egypt produces 4m tonnes of rice per year, with the market consuming 3m tonnes.
However, Ministry of Agriculture figures said that Egypt’s rice production this year was 2.7m tonnes, with rice consumption at 3.6m tonnes.
Last Thursday, Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour issued a decision to stop exporting rice beginning in September. He explained in a statement that the decision came to meet the domestic requirements for rice.
The FEI pointed out that exporting rice generates $600m for Egypt every year, adding that it will help reduce the budget deficit by EGP 2bn.
In 2013, the decision to export rice was a cause of disagreement. On the one hand, Abdel Nour had issued a decision in November 2013, announcing that the government planned to export 100,000 tonnes of rice between mid-November 2013 and January 2014.
Meanwhile, former minister of supply Mohamed Abu Shady made a contradictory announcement to Abdel Nour’s, saying that rice exports would be halted “until all ration needs of the grain are met”.
The Rice Division at the (FEI) had at that time wanted to export rice to make profits.