Cabinet to announce new wheat prices for subsidized bread Sunday

The Cabinet is expected on Sunday to announce new prices for wheat allocated to producing subsidized bread, according to a Cabinet-affiliated committee formed to study wheat and flour prices.

President Mohamed Morsy recently decided the government would base wheat purchases from farmers on international prices. In July, the government had said it was considering doubling the price of subsidized bread from LE0.05 to LE0.10 per piece.

An announcement setting the prices of grinding wheat and baking the subsidized bread is expected in the second week of October to regulate business between mills and bakeries, according to a committee source.

The new prices will be tested in Port Said because it has 16 bakeries producing subsidized bread, the fewest of any province in the country, according to the deputy head of the bakeries division at the Federation of Egypt Chambers of Commerce.

"The committee will be conducting a comprehensive survey of bakeries in Port Said Governorate so as to prepare for liberating the prices of flour there," committee member Attiya Hammad said, adding that the Ministry of Supply should secure the needed funding before the test is conducted.

Bakery owners have struggled recently because the Cabinet has delayed their payments, which has affected the production and quality of subsidized bread, Hammad said.

Head of the grains division at the Federation of Egypt Chambers of Commerce Ali Sharaf called on the Cabinet to reconsider the cost of wheat grinding, in addition to providing the funding needed before starting the project.

Sharaf said the project would help curb the smuggling of flour meant to be used in subsidized bread.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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