Cairo â Egypt’s food exports grew 14% year to date through September, reaching a record high of USD 3.9 billion. The industry’s foreign sales were USD 3.4 billion in the same period last year, according to data from the Food Export Council (FEC).
The council chairman, engineer Hani Berzi, said that the food industry is one of Egypt’s most crucial export sectors, ranking third in the country’s non-oil foreign sales. Food foreign sales are expected to reach USD 5.1 billion this year â a number Egypt aimed to attain last year, which economic conditions and challenges did not allow
During a workshop on the Export Tariff Refund Program (pictured above), the council unveiled the roadmap for next year and the achievements of the first nine months of 2023.
The CEO of the Egyptian Export Development Fund, Amani Al-Wesal, said subsidies for refunding export tariffs for the current fiscal year total EGP 28 billion (about USD 904.8 million at the current rate). Of the total, EGP 12 billion (about USD 387.7 million) have already been disbursed, and ongoing studies in partnership with the country’s Ministry of Finance will define a date for the launch of a new plan to refund the tariffs levied on Egyptian exports.
The council’s executive director, May Khairy, said Egypt is the leading food producer and exporter in the Arab world, the second in the Middle East after Turkey, and the second in Africa after South Africa. She highlighted that the sector is achieving satisfactory growth rates, given the global and local economies’ challenges.
The council’s deputy executive chair, Tamim El-Dawy, explained the COVID-19 pandemic crisis and the Russian-Ukrainian war had generated more significant global concern about food supply. Many countries have started diversifying their supply sources, a promising opportunity for Egypt’s industry.
He added that the sector’s exports had different performances depending on their destinations, and some countries showed high growth rates in food imports from Egypt. Among the countries with the most significant expansions in purchases were Sudan, with a 169% increase, reaching USD 393 million; Brazil, with 200%, to USD 45 million; and Palestine, with 34%, to USD 198 million.
Heba Suhail, responsible for the council’s Expos & Shows department, analyzed next year’s international exhibitions participation roadmap. She reported the council surveyed member companies to identify shows that could foster export opportunities for Egyptian companies. The main events mentioned were the APAS Show, to be held in Brazil in May 2024, Foodex Japan, Saudi Food (organized by Gulfood Exhibition Management), SIAL China, WorldFood Istanbul (in Turkey), and WorldFood Moscow (in Russia).
Translated by Georgette Merkhan & ElĂșsio Brasileiro