Egypt to exchange cotton for wheat from Ukraine

Wheat Fields - Punya - Wikimedia CommonsEgypt imported about 180,000 tonnes of wheat from Ukraine and Russia in July 2015. (Image source: Punya/Wikimedia Commons)Egypt and Ukraine have reached a deal under which Egypt will give Ukraine long staple cotton in return for wheat

According to the report by Egypt’s state news agency, MENA, the agreement was made during a visit to Egypt by Oleksiy Pavlenko, Ukraine’s minister of agrarian policy and food. During a meeting with Salah El-Din Helal, Egypt’s minister of agriculture, Pavlenko stressed on the need to strengthen cooperation in the field of agriculture between the countries.

Egypt has long been famous for its unique long staple cotton, a reputation it gained under the British colonial rule. Total Egyptian cotton exports rose by 94.3 per cent year on year, in the period from December 2014 to February 2015, the national statistics agency reported in May.

Egypt is also the world’s largest importer of wheat and spends billions of Egyptian pounds annually to ensure that there are sufficient strategic reserves of wheat, both local and imported.

In the first three quarters of the last fiscal year, Egyptian imports of wheat were worth US$1.63bn, according to the most recent figures made available by Egypt’s central bank. In July, Egypt’s General Authority for Supply Commodities bought 120,000 tonnes of wheat from Russia and 60,000 tonnes from Ukraine to produce subsidised bread.

The two ministers also discussed the importance of opening of a new water course off Suez Canal for the agrarian sector of the two countries and prospects of cooperation in the agricultural complex. “Ukraine is ready to set regular supplies of agricultural and other products to Egypt. We are primarily talking about grain, livestock production, sunflower oil, confectionary and dairy products,” Pavlenko said.

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