The USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Cairo forecast is based on an increase in the total harvested area reaching 1.32 million hectares, the report said.
FAS Cairo predicts wheat imports in 2018-19 at 12.5 million tonnes. It said import figures for 2017-18 are in line with the previous forecast of 12 million tonnes.
In calendar year 2017, imports by the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) reached about 7.53 million tonnes, up from 4.3 million tonnes in calendar year 2016. Imports by GASC in 2017 accounted for 60.2% of Egypt’s total wheat imports, while private sector imports reached 4.9 million tonnes, accounting for 39.8% of Egypt’s total wheat imports, the report said.
FAS Cairo forecasts corn imports in 2018-19 (October-September) at 9.5 million tonnes, up 1% from its 2017-18 estimate. It is revising downwards 2017-18 corn imports to 9.4 million tonnes from the previous estimate of 10 million.
“We attribute the drop in imports due to a reduction in the consumption rates of poultry, red meat, and dairy products as a result of higher inflation rates at the beginning of the marketing year,” the report said.
Egypt’s milled rice production and planted area in 2018-19 will drop to 3.3 million tonnes and 588,000 hectares respectively in 2018-19, according to FAS Cairo. It said milled rice production for 2017-18 has been revised downward to 3.3 million tonnes from its original estimate of 4.3 million tonnes.
“The projected reduction is attributed to a decrease in the planted area dropping to 588,000 hectares in 2017-18 from the USDA’s official estimate of 762,000 hectares,” the report said.