Egypt has set a fixed price for unsubsidized bread in an effort to counter rising food prices after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine closed off access to lower-priced Black Sea wheat.
Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly on Monday set the price of commercially sold bread at 11.50 Egyptian pounds ($0.66) per kg, his office said in a statement.
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Food prices had been rising in Egypt even before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but now bread -- a politically symbolic staple on which many Egyptians are heavily dependent -- is becoming more expensive as Black Sea wheat exports are disrupted.
The price of unsubsidized bread has jumped by as much as 25 percent, from 1.00 to 1.25 Egyptian pounds a loaf, in some bakeries in the three weeks since Russia’s invasion of its neighbor.
Flour prices have risen by up to 15 percent, said Attia Hamad at the Cairo Chamber of Commerce.
The new fixed prices for flat, round balady bread have been set at 0.50, 0.75 and 1.00 Egyptian pounds for loaves weighing 45, 65 and 90 grams respectively. Prices for 40, 60 and 80 gram small, white fino loaves were set at 0.50, 0.75 and 1.00 Egyptian pounds respectively.
Violations of the fixed prices will result in fines between 100,000 and 5 million Egyptian pounds.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi last week asked the government to set a price for unsubsidized bread because of the recent price increases.
Egypt is typically the world’s largest wheat importer, buying more than 60 percent of its wheat from abroad. Russia and Ukraine accounted for about 80 percent of government and private sector imports last year.
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