Egypt’s new grain security strategy put to test as Ukraine war enters second year


Al-Monitor Pro Members


Marc Español 

Journalist covering Egypt and Sudan


March 31, 2023

Bottom Line:

In mid-February, Cairo notified UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres of its decision to withdraw from the Grains Trade Convention, set up in 1995 to improve cooperation between exporters and importers. The exit from the group, of which Egypt had been a member since its establishment, was prompted by what authorities see as its inability to control the grains market amid high volatility and to stop paying its dollar-denominated fees at a time when the country is facing serious liquidity issues. Yet the move also comes as part of the new strategy on grain security that is being pursued by the government in the wake of Russia’s war in Ukraine, which prior to the invasion supplied almost half of Egypt’s total wheat needs. So far, the country has managed to navigate the storm, but external and internal risks remain that could jeopardize its fragile balance. The next big test will be the local grain harvest season, which is set to begin this April. 

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