EGYPT – Egypt, a global powerhouse in terms of orange production and exports, which accounts for around 80% of its total citrus production, is projected to produce 3.6 million tonnes in 2022/2023, an increase of 20% compared to the 3 million tonnes harvested during the previous season.

According to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), agriculture contributes 11.3% to Egypt’s GDP and accounts for 28% of all employment.

This growth perspective, which is mainly due to the climatic conditions and the optimal temperatures that benefit the trees from and during flowering, as highlighted in the USDA’s latest report on the country’s citrus fruits, should contribute to improving the performance of the Egyptian export industry.

In the Citrus Annual report, the USDA says FAS Cairo forecasts fresh orange exports to reach 1.7 million metric tons (MMT), up from 1.3 MMT in MY 2021/22.

Russia, Saudi Arabia, Netherlands, Bangladesh, India, United Arab Emirates, China, United Kingdom, Malaysia, and Sultanate Oman are likely to remain in Egypt’s top ten export destinations for fresh oranges.

To bolster its central role in supporting agriculture and allied industries, the Egyptian government has approved the main framework of a new five-year initiative to fund industrial and agricultural projects with loans at an 11 percent interest rate.

According to the cabinet, the government will allocate EGP 150 billion (US$5.03M) to the five-year initiative, including nearly EGP 140 billion (US$4.69M) to finance capital money and EGP 10 billion (US$0.34M) to finance the purchase of capital goods.

The amount of credit available to each company will be determined by the volume of its business and the banking rules, provided that the maximum credit limit allowed for each company does not exceed the amount of EGP 75 million (US$2.51m).

The initiative also stipulates that each company has transactions with a maximum of two banks from those participating in the initiative. The companies joining the initiative bear a reduced interest rate of 11% as the Ministry of Finance bears the difference in interest rate.

During a seminar organized by the Food Industries Export Council on the requirements of the US Foods Safety Authority (FDA) for exporting food industry products, Deputy Executive Director of the Export Council for Food Industries, Tamim El-Dawy revealed that the US traded more with the country for its processed food.

In his speech, El-Dawy said the US, the second largest importing market for Egyptian processed foods, imported goods worth US$253 million during the period from January to November 2022, compared to US$223 million during the same period of 2021.

El-Dawy called on Egyptian companies to consider heading to the American market and include it in their marketing plans, given that the United States of America is currently reviewing the food supply chain and diversifying food sources to achieve stability in the food security of the American market.

 He added that Egypt is among the countries that are candidates for filling the gaps in the world’s food supply chain, beginning with COVID-19, followed by the repercussions of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

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