“American and European exporters of wheat will provide payment facilities to Egypt to import wheat during a period of up to nine months,” Ouda told Al-Shorouk newspaper. He did not say whether Egypt would be given a full nine-month window to pay or whether payments would be divided over nine months.
A ministry official who asked not to be named said on Saturday the minister did not want to reveal the details of the deal “to protect the interests of Egypt”. He said Egypt also wanted to reach agreements with non-US or European suppliers. Russia is also a major supplier. “All exporters are welcome to present their views to the ministry with the facilities they would like to give to us to import wheat from them,” he said.
Egypt subsidises bread for its 84 million people. Bakers have threatened a strike, seeking overdue subsidy payments they put at nearly $60 million. A cabinet report on Wednesday showed the country now holds 2.116 million tonnes of grain, enough to last 85 days.