Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/18/2012 -- Stable import needs will not be enough to prevent inflation from ticking higher in the medium term. Egypt remains the world's largest wheat importer, and high global prices will feed into domestic prices, even if minimally. The lifting of the three-year-old ban on rice exports will very likely lead to the country returning to its status of a preferred exporter to neighbouring countries at the expense of other major exporters such as the US and Russia. The sugar and cotton industries are still under pressure because of falling global prices, but we expect a recovery in the coming months as companies make some price adjustments. The livestock and dairy industries are likely to recover soon from the recent foot-and-mouth disease outbreak, which had a milder impact than initially expected.
- Wheat production growth to 2016/17: 11.3% to 9.52mn tonnes. This will come on the back of a larger area planted and higher yields owing to farmers' intentions to improve production practices. However, farmers will continue to be constrained by high costs.
- Beef consumption growth to 2016/17: 13.7% to 588,200 tonnes. Beef is set to be a beneficiary of a trade-up in livestock preferences. This rising demand is normally met through growing imports of both live and frozen cattle from countries such as Sudan, Ethiopia and Brazil.
- Rice production growth to 2016/17: 12.6% to 4.78mn tonnes. We forecast production to stabilise around current levels, as we do not see much growth potential from the country's remaining arable land and water constraints. The adoption of more resistant seeds and potential of GM crops could help yields higher, but take-up has been too limited so far to integrate this significantly into our forecast.
- Real GDP growth: 3.5% year-on-year (y-o-y) in 2013 (up from 2.2% y-o-y in 2012)
- Consumer inflation: average 9.5% y-o-y in 2013 (up from 9.5% y-o-y in 2012).
- BMI universe agribusiness market value: 1.1% y-o-y increase to US$9.3bn in 2012/13; forecast to grow on average 3.6% annually between 2011/12 and 2016/17.
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Egypt's General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) has indicated that it has received half of its imports for the 2012/13 season thanks to an increase in domestic production and high stocks. GASC has tendered for 2.3mn tonnes of wheat since the start of the season and recently announced it would import a total of 4.8mn tonnes for the full year. In 2011/12 the government accounted for 50% of all wheat imports, with private traders accounting for the rest. This will come as the country's production deficit remains stable at 8.9mn tonnes in 2012/13 and as 2011/12 ending stocks reach a high of 6.7mn tonnes.
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