CAIRO, EGYPT — Egypt, which is the world’s largest buyer of wheat, has built up enough grain reserves to accommodate consumption needs until February 2020, according to the country’s Supply Ministry.

The news comes just a few days after the General Authority for Supply Commodities purchased 405,000 tonnes of Russian, French and Ukrainian wheat.

In September, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in a Global Agricultural Information Network report indicated that wheat production in Egypt is projected to increase 4% over the previous year to 8.7 million tonnes. 

The USDA forecast wheat consumption in 2019-20 at 20.4 million tonnes, up from 20.1 million tonnes the previous year. It attributed the uptick to an increase in food, seed and industrial (FSI) use consumption.

“The rise in FSI wheat consumption is attributable to population growth of about 2.4% per annum,” the USDA said. “Egypt, with a population of 99.4 million, is adding over 2 million people per year. It also is host to an estimated 5 million refugees from Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Sudan.”