According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Egypt is expected to produce about 6.5 Million Metric Tonnes (MMT) of rice paddy this season, which is an increase of 1.4 MMT from last year. Egypt planted paddy in the area totaling about 1.8 million feddans (1.87 million acres) this year, which hopefully would enable Egypt to double its rice production.
Egypt’s consumption of rice is expected to be 3.3 MMT this year while the planted area will yield about 4 MMT of white rice, said the Supply Ministry spokesman, Mr. Mohamed Sweed, allowing for a 700,000 MT surplus. He further clarified, “Egypt does not intend to import additional quantities from abroad, which it did last year despite a surplus after farmers refused to sell to the government because of a dispute over the local buying price.”
Egypt intends to keep in place an export ban on rice, a policy it has occasionally followed since 2008 in order to discourage over-cultivation of the water-intensive crop that pushes down the prices of rice in the local market. Egypt’s strategic rice reserves are set to rise from the current level of four months’ supply to about 12 months’ within 10 days, informed Mr. Sweed.