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Egyptian agricultural exports hit record levels

An orange vendor in Cairo. The country will export 2 million tonnes of oranges this year Alamy via Reuters
An orange vendor in Cairo. Egypt will export 2 million tonnes of oranges this year
  • Exports up 1.1m tonnes
  • Total value $8.8bn in 2023
  • Saudi Arabia biggest customer

Egypt exported a record 7.5 million tonnes of agricultural produce last year, compared with 6.4 million tonnes in 2022 and 5.6 million in 2021.

The total value of agricultural exports in 2023 was $8.8 billion, according to minister of agriculture and land reclamation Al Sayed Al Quseir.

Egypt’s total number of export partners has increased by nearly 60 percent over the last decade.

Speaking at a meeting with members of the Export Council and the Chamber of Food Industries on Tuesday, Al Quseir said Egypt has increased destinations for its products by 93 to more than 160 countries in 10 years and is now the world’s largest exporter of oranges and frozen strawberries.

A US Department of Agriculture report earlier this year put Egypt on track to export 2 million tonnes of oranges for the current financial year, 25 percent more than in the 2023-24 financial year.

According to Egypt’s Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, the sector’s contribution to GDP has increased from 12 percent to 15 percent in three years and the industry now employs 25 percent of workers.

Al Quseir has credited the government’s land reclamation projects with leading the rise in agricultural exports. 

Last week the country’s president, Abdel Fattah El Sisi, inaugurated the first phase of the Future of Egypt project that seeks to reclaim 2.2 million feddans (924,000 hectares) of land for agricultural use. 

The total value of Egyptian exports to other Arab countries also increased between 2022 and 2023, according to the latest figures released by the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics. 

With subsequent currency devaluations making Egyptian exports more attractive, the volume of exports from Egypt to Arab countries increased from $12.5 billion in 2022 to $13.6 billion in 2023, while imports from those countries declined from $17 billion to $12.4 billion. 

Fruit and vegetables led the increase in Egyptian exports to the Arab region, accounting for $1.3 billion.

Saudi Arabia was the largest Arab buyer of Egyptian products ($2.7 billion), followed by the UAE ($2.2 billion), and Libya ($1.8 billion).

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