CAIRO: Private meat imports were reduced by 30 percent compared to last year due to the Egyptian pound depreciation against the U.S. dollar, head of the veterinary quarantine department Sayed Gad el-Moula told Youm7 Thursday.
In late October the Egyptian pound reached a new official low of 7.93 against the dollar, with banks trading at 8.03 to a dollar.
Cargos of frozen meat have been held at ports and new deals have ceased as a result of the instability of the price of the pound, said Gad el-Moula, whose department is part of the Agriculture Ministry.
The government will, however, receive 5,000 calves from Uruguay for fattening, and 5,000 others from Moldova for immediate slaughter next week, he added.
In a speech last week, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi urged owners of businesses that offer basic commodities, especially food, to not raise the prices of their products after the price of the dollar against the pound increased.
He also vowed that the government would intervene to regulate prices.
Meanwhile, head of the supply investigations department at the Ministry of Interior Mahmoud al-Esheiry told Youm7 Friday that major market franchises decided to reduce the prices of basic commodities by 35 percent in response to Sisi and the Interior Ministry’s urges.
They also dispatched trucks loaded with basic foods to deprived areas at discounted prices, according to Esheiry.
Cattle were part of the United Arab Emirates multi-purpose grants, as meat is prohibitively expensive for large segments of Egyptian society. By March, the UAE had exported 100,000 head of cattle from Uruguay on behalf of Egypt.