Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/12/2014 -- Egypt remains the world's largest wheat importer, and moderating global prices will help to decrease pressure on the country's fiscal situation and on local inflation. In line with this, Egypt ramped up wheat imports at the end of 2013 as prices moderated sharply and as Russia, which traditionally supplies the country at very competitive prices, returned to export markets. We continue to see the lifting of the three-year ban on rice exports as providing a boost to the local industry. The sugar industry is benefiting from a tight local market and higher domestic prices, while the cotton industry is likely to be helped by the recent recovery in prices. The livestock and dairy industries are recovering from the recent foot-and-mouth disease outbreak, especially in a context of lower grain prices.
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- Wheat production growth to 2017/18: 11.0% to 9.4mn tonnes. This will largely be the result of government efforts to increase area planted and yields in the coming years.
- Sugar consumption growth to 2018: 11.0% to 3.2mn tonnes. This will be driven by growth in the local confectionery and soft drinks industries on the back of population and income growth.
- Beef production growth to 2017/18: 33.4% to 380,100 tonnes. The recovery of herds - linked to imports of live cattle, systematic vaccination of cattle and lower feed prices - will help production recover over the medium term.
- Real GDP growth: 2.7% year-on-year (y-o-y) in 2014 (up from 1.9% y-o-y in 2013).
- Consumer inflation: average 10.4% y-o-y in 2014 (up from 9.5% y-o-y in 2013).
- BMI universe agribusiness market value: 5.1% y-o-y decrease to US$23.43bn in 2013/14; forecast to grow on average 5.0% annually between 2012/13 and 2017/18.
We have revised our estimate for 2013/14 wheat production in Egypt in line with local industry and official sources. We now forecast wheat output to reach 8.5mn tonnes (from a previous forecast of 9.0mn tonnes) in 2013/14, the same amount as in 2012/13. The lower output will be the result of reduced yields on the back of delays to the harvest linked to fuel shortages at the start of the season. We had cautioned that these shortages would pose severe downside risks to yields, as part of the crop could remain unharvested or left to rot outside storage facilities. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates yields at 6.3 tonnes per hectare (ha) and area harvested at 1.4mn ha in 2013/14, which is stable compared with 2012/13. Yields have been revised down from an initial estimate of 6.4 tonnes/ha.
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