Egypt has emerged as Russia’s top grain importer, purchasing over two million tons in just three months, according to the Union of Grain Exporters. From July to September, Cairo bought 2.031 million tons of grain, a 9.1% increase compared to the same period last year. This surge in imports can be attributed to the strong presence of Russian exporters in tenders organized by the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), Egypt’s agency for food procurement.
In a departure from its traditional method of grain procurement through tenders, Egypt recently made a private deal to purchase approximately 500,000 tons of wheat from Russia. This decision showcases the country’s growing dependence on Russian imports and highlights the favorable relationship between the two nations in the agricultural sector.
Egypt is recognized as one of the world’s top wheat importers, and its grain purchases serve as a global benchmark. In July and August alone, Egypt increased its imports of Russian wheat by 11.8% compared to the same period last year, totaling 1.28 million tons.
Russia’s success in the Egyptian market has also been evident in its dealings with other countries. Turkey, for instance, was the second-largest grain buyer from Russia, importing 1.864 million tons between July and September. However, this represented a slight decrease of 10.3% compared to the previous year. Iran, previously Russia’s top grain importer in 2022, fell to third place after reducing its grain shipments by 24%, amounting to 1.817 million tons.
Saudi Arabia also featured among Russia’s top grain buyers, with a 61.2% increase in purchases to reach 1.664 million tons. Additionally, Libya witnessed a significant surge in grain imports from Russia, experiencing a year-on-year increase of 178% to reach 1.108 million tons, compared to just 398 thousand tons in 2022.
Overall, Russia exported a total of 18.18 million tons of grain between July and September, marking a 61% increase compared to the previous year. This significant boost in supplies to global markets amounted to an additional 11.2 million tons.
The amplified demand for Russian grain highlights the country’s growing dominance in the global agricultural market. Egypt’s shift towards private deals and increased imports from Russia demonstrates the strong trading relationship between the two nations. As Egypt continues to rely on imports to meet its grain demands, Russia’s role as a leading supplier is likely to strengthen further.
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