CAIRO, EGYPT — Egyptian wheat production and imports are forecast higher in 2019-20 as demand continues to increase, according to a March 18 Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The USDA projects Egypt’s wheat production in 2019-20 to rise 4% from 8.45 million tonnes to 8.77 million tonnes. The agency forecasts a 1% increase in wheat imports to 12.6 million tonnes.

In 2018-19, the General Authority for Supply Commodities, Egypt’s largest wheat purchaser, issued 24 tenders through Feb. 20, 2019, importing 6.13 million tonnes of milling wheat, the USDA said.

“This represents a nearly 8% increase from the GASC’s purchases during the same period in marketing year 2017-18,” the USDA said. “The largest foreign suppliers in 2018-19 included Russia (3.9 million tonnes), Romania (960,000 tonnes), Ukraine (480,000 tonnes), France (480,000 tonnes) and the United States (300,000 tonnes).”

The USDA forecasts Egypt’s corn imports in 2019-20 at 9.5 million tonnes, up 1% from the previous year.

“Egypt’s yellow corn production covers less than 20% of its feed demands,” the USDA said. “Imports are supplementing the feed manufacturing industry’s expanded production.”

Rice imports are projected at 500,000 tonnes in 2019-20, the same as the previous year, according to the USDA.