The Egyptian food industry has experienced significant developments in the past 100 days. Starting with a 3% increase in food exports to $665 million in the first two months of 2023, Egypt continued to record remarkable export performance across various agricultural commodities.
Citrus exports: Egypt maintains leading position
In the citrus industry, Egypt remains a leading supplier, with exports amounting to 1.6 million tons in the first half of the year, contributing to a 17.2% surge in overall agricultural exports. This record-breaking performance extended to Southeast Asian markets, where orange exports reached an all-time high in five years. Remarkably, Egypt supplied a staggering 93% of oranges imported by the EU in the first quarter of 2023.
Record-breaking potato and onion exports
Egypt also fortified its position in other agricultural products, with potato exports achieving a record, more than doubling to over 17,000 tonnes to Southeast Asia in 2022. Additionally, the country experienced a significant increase in its exports of onions, with global climate conditions fueling demand. Amid this, Egyptian garlic producers anticipate a robust 2023/2024 season due to ideal farming conditions.
Egypt dominates fresh and frozen strawberry exports
The country's agricultural success also extended to fresh strawberries, becoming the largest exporter to Malaysia in 2021/22 with a record 1,000 tons shipped in the first eight months of the 2022/23 season. This is in addition to Egypt taking over as the leading exporter of frozen strawberries to the European Union in the past five years.
Saudi Arabia emerges as largest importer of Egyptian table grapes
Egypt's table grape exports to Saudi Arabia quadrupled over the past five years, making the Kingdom the largest importer of Egyptian grapes in 2022. Egyptian grapes have been successful despite legal issues surrounding the "Black Magic" variety due to a mix-up with distribution and marketing rights.
Health scare in England traced back to Egyptian spring onions
However, the industry faced setbacks when a Shigella outbreak in England was traced back to spring onions imported from Egypt. This occurrence emphasizes the importance of maintaining strict health and safety measures across all stages of the export process.
Expanding export markets: Egypt targets the Philippines and Uzbekistan
Looking forward, Egypt plans to start exporting onions and citrus to the Philippines and Uzbekistan from June 15, 2023. The country is also aiming to become the largest global exporter of dates, moving from outside the top 10 in 2021 to 8th place in 2022.
Resilience and growth demonstrated in Egyptian food industry
In summary, the Egyptian food industry has demonstrated resilience and growth across various sectors, showing a robust capacity to meet increasing international demand while expanding into new markets. These developments reflect the significant potential of the sector for further growth and diversification, contributing to Egypt's broader economic development.