Yearly sugar subsidies reach LE3.5 billion

Annual state sugar subsidies have been raised from LE2.2 billion last year to LE3.5 billion this year to reflect rising global commodity prices. The government will continue to allocate the same amount of sugar–260,000 tons per annum–for purchase by ration card.

Mustafa el-Daw of the Cairo Chamber of Commerce (CCC) said Sunday that sugar prices rose by between 10 and 15 percent last December. He went on to note that tea prices had risen by 25 to 30 percent for the same period; packaged milk by 5 to 10 percent; cheese by 5 to 7 percent; and cooking oil by 10 to 15 percent. Prices for rice and beans, he added, had remained largely the same.

According to CCC member Mohamed Asfour, prices for carbonated beverages did not go up this year despite the rise in global sugar prices. Adel Garas, president of Pepsi-Cola Egypt, confirmed this, saying, "We took this into consideration when we raised our prices last year."

Adel Shawqi, another CCC member, urged the government to use the production of beetroot sugar–expected to begin in February–to meet increasing domestic demand for sugar.

Meanwhile, members of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce warned against attempts to smuggle sugar over the borders to Libya, Sudan and the Gaza Strip, where sugar demand remains high.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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