Govt to purchase Egyptian maize at higher price to cope with global hike

The government intends to pay a higher price for maize purchased from local peasants in order to cope with rising international rates, an official source told Al-Masry Al-Youm.

The source said maize supply for the Ministry of Social Solidarity has been declining recently as merchants are used to buying from peasants at prices higher than those offered by the government. The same source said the government had set a price of LE240-LE250 per ardeb depending on the degree of purity, while traders offered farmers LE270 regardless.

Merchants then offer the maize as fodder for a price higher than purchase rate, according to the source.

Minister of Social Solidarity Aly Moselhy noted that the trader practice of buying maize to pedal in the market for a higher price does not qualify as a violation under anti-monopoly laws.

The grains chamber at the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI) predicted a further drop in maize supply to the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) during the current season. The chamber’s director, Ali Sharaf Eddin, told Al-Masry Al-Youm the expected supplies for this year will not surpass 10,000 tons, compared to 98,000 tons last year.

He attributed the predicted loss to crop damages incurred by rising temperatures as well as farmers’ abstention from planting maize, given last year’s local price drop as global rates hiked.

Translated from the Arabic Edition. 

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