Egypt's New Price for Bread Will 'Take Time', Supply Minister Says

A baker collects loaves at a bakery in Cairo, Egypt, August 6, 2021. REUTERS/Hanaa Habib

Egypt's Supply Minister Ali Moselhy said on Thursday deciding a new price for subsidised bread "will take time".

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in August said it was time to increase the price of the country's subsidised bread, revisiting the issue for the first time since 1977 when then-President Anwar Sadat reversed a price rise in the face of riots.

The subsidised loaf has been sold since then for 5 Egyptian piasters ($0.0032).

"The prices of commodities have been increasing since January, across vegetable oils markets, sugar and lately wheat," Moselhy told a news conference in Cairo.

"The wheat price set by suppliers will take into account inflation," he said, adding that the strategic reserves of the world's largest wheat buyer were sufficient for five months.

Moselhy also said that from Nov. 1 the price of a 1 litre bottle of subsidised vegetable oil would increase to 25 Egyptian pounds ($1.60) from 21 pounds per bottle.

Egypt, which imports 95% of its vegetable oil needs through state buyer GASC, offers buyers a blend of soybean and sunflower oil covered by its extensive subsidy programme.

The increase is the second one this year on the back of increasing global prices, but Moselhy said that this decision could be revised if costs drop in the coming year.

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