Egypt holds talks on grain imports from Ukraine within Black Sea Grain Initiative



Mon, 29 May 2023 - 01:03 GMT


Mon, 29 May 2023 - 01:03 GMT

CAIRO – 29 May 2023: Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs for European Affairs Ambassador Ehab Nasr met Sunday with UN Coordinator for the Black Sea Grain Initiative Abdullah Dashti in light of its extension in March.


The ambassador stipulated that Egypt backs all efforts that would guarantee the flow of grain exports from all world countries to the global market, which would ensure global food security, and stability of the prices of grains, stockfeed, and oils.


Nasr and Dashti also discussed the size of Egyptian imports of all kinds of grains and food oils from Ukraine within the initiative.  


In a related context, Egyptian Minister of Supply and Internal Trade, Ali Moselhi, stated in March that Egypt withdrew from the United Nations Grains Trade Convention (GTC) due to the agreement’s inability to create a balance in the grains market or provide an added value to Egypt.


The Minister added that throughout the global crisis in 2008, global wheat prices rose from $150 per ton to $520 per ton, and the organization failed to play an effective role to secure its members needs by adjusting the trade balance between producers and consumers, and merely provided information, collected requests and released a monthly bulletin. 


“During the Russian-Ukrainian war, the prices rose significantly and the organization didn’t interfere, thus, the continued membership of Egypt - the largest importer of wheat in the world- is ineffective” he added.


Egypt has been a member of the GTC agreement - the only international treaty covering grain trade - since its inception in 1995.


The agreement aims to promote international cooperation in all aspects of grain trade, encourage the expansion of international trade to secure the largest possible flow of the grain trade, contribute as far as possible to the stability of international grain markets, and to provide a forum for the exchange of information.



Egypt officially submitted a withdrawal request to the (GTC) Secretary-General on 13 February 2023, according to the official website of the agreement.


The decision was taken after an evaluation by the Ministries of Supply and Trade, which concluded that Egypt's membership does not represent an added value.


Moreover, the decision comes in light of Egypt’s continued attempts to save hard currency.


Deputy Director of the Egyptian Center for Economic and Strategic Studies (ECSS), Ali Eledrisi, Egypt’s withdrawal from the agreement will not affect Egypt at all, as the country has proved in the last period that it can efficiently secure its grain needs using its political and diplomatic relations with most countries of the world.



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