Egypt Watch

The Egyptian government raises the prices of basic food commodities

The Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade raised the prices of six commodities on ration cards: sugar, pasta, lentils, cheese, margarine and washing powder. Also, the ministry removed four commodities from the ration cards: matchs, tahini, chicken stock and cappuccino. The decisions are effective as of January 1st.

A kilogram of sugar will become 10.5 pounds instead of 8.5; a kilogram of pasta 9 instead of 8.5; a half kilogram of lentils 11 instead of 8; 800 grams of margarine 24 instead of 17.24; a half kilogram of cheese 10.9 instead of 10; and a kilogram of washing powder 17.5 instead of 15.75. Hassan Al-Fendi, a member of the Chamber of Food Industries in the Federation of Industries, denied that international prices were the reason behind the increase in sugar prices, stressing that prices are now stable globally and have not experienced any increases. Al-Fendi attributed the reason for the increase in the price of sugar to the Ministry of Supply raising the prices of supplying the beet and sugar cane crops on December 22 – an increase of 75 pounds over a ton of beets, and an increase of 90 pounds over a ton of sugar cane.

The prices of basic food commodities in Egypt have recorded successive and unprecedented increases since the beginning of 2021. The price of red meat, at the end of last October, reached between 150 and 170 pounds per kilogram instead of 130; poultry reached 38 pounds per kilogram instead of 31; and an egg pack (30 eggs) reached between 52 and 60 pounds instead of 42. The price of a ton of sugar rose about 25 percent last September, and then exceeded about 10,600 pounds in wholesale markets, compared to 7,500 pounds during the first half of the year, while flour prices increased by 30 percent, during eight months.

Cooking oil prices increased by 100% during 2021, recording 20,000 pounds per ton, compared to 10,000 last year. Last November, the Ministry of Supply raised the price of cooking oil on ration cards from 20 pounds to 25 per liter, an increase of 25%. At the time, the Minister of Supply and Internal Trade, Ali Moselhi, attributed the rise in food prices to the increase in their prices globally due to inflation.