Egypt insists food supply secure as wheat imports dive
CAIRO/LONDON - Egypt's wheat imports are sharply down this year as it endures economic and political crisis, but state and private buyers insist they still have funds to keep the nation supplied with its staple bread.
Egyptian officials and traders acknowledge the government's problems with a rising budget deficit and falling currency reserves, but say the state is allocating priority financing for wheat imports. They are also pinning some of their hopes on an increase in domestic production.
Foreign traders and financiers remain sceptical, pointing to a big drop both in wheat stocks - to about three months' supply from over seven last October - and in the number of grains ships arriving at Egyptian ports.