Egypt's increased bread price 'will take time' to decide: supply minister

Egypt's increased bread price 'will take time' to decide: supply minister
Egypt's subsidised loaf of bread has been set at under 5 Egyptian piasters for over four decades, when a price rise was reversed in the face of riots.
2 min read
El-Sisi in August said the bread price should be increased [ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty]

Egypt's Supply Minister Ali Moselhy said on Thursday deciding a new price for subsidised bread "will take time".

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in August said it was time to increase the price of the country's subsidised bread, revisiting the issue for the first time since 1977 when then-President Anwar Sadat reversed a price rise in the face of riots.

The subsidised loaf has been sold since then for 5 Egyptian piasters ($0.0032).

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"The prices of commodities have been increasing since January, across vegetable oils markets, sugar and lately wheat," Moselhy told a news conference in Cairo.

"The wheat price set by suppliers will take into account inflation," he said, adding that the strategic reserves of the world's largest wheat buyer were sufficient for five months.

Moselhy also said that from 1 November the price of a 1 litre bottle of subsidised vegetable oil would increase to 25 Egyptian pounds ($1.60) from 21 pounds per bottle.

Egypt, which imports 95 percent of its vegetable oil needs through state buyer GASC, offers buyers a blend of soybean and sunflower oil covered by its extensive subsidy programme.

The increase is the second one this year on the back of increasing global prices, but Moselhy said that this decision could be revised if costs drop in the coming year.