Government contracts to buy 20K tons of rice to fight monopoly
Minister of supply Khaled Hanafy - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: The Ministry of Supply and Internal Trading has agreed to import a total of 20,000 tons of rice to be sold in the markets at subsidized price in a bid to curb the rice merchants’ monopoly, Minister Khaled Hanafi said in a Monday statement.

A kilo of subsidized rice will be sold for 4.5 EGP ($0.51), as a monopoly on the market resulted in the price being pushed up to 8.5 EGP ($0.96) per kilo, he added.

During the rice harvest season next month, the ministry will contract with farmers to buy a million tons of rice as part of a stock to be sufficient until the end of this year, the minister continued.

On Friday, the Egyptian government announced in a statement it will “soon” import a total of 80,000 tons of rice to meet an expected rising market demand during the holy month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar when Muslims fast.

Egypt produced around 4.5 million tons of rice last year, and it is expected to produce 4.4 million tons this year, according to the trade ministry. Meanwhile, the consumption rate is expected to reach 3.6 million tons in 2016.

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