The Abu Dhabi Exports Office (Adex) has signed a multi-year revolving financing facility worth US$500mn backing the import of wheat into Egypt, one of the world’s largest buyers of the grain.   

Under the agreement, Egypt’s General Authority for Supply Commodities will receive US$100mn in financing over a five-year period from Adex, Abu Dhabi’s export credit agency, with the deal subject to an annual renewal plan.  

The funding will back the import of wheat into the African country by Al Dahra, a global agribusiness company headquartered in Abu Dhabi and with operations in the Middle East, Europe, North America, Asia and Africa.  

Ali Al-Moselhy, Egypt’s minister for supply and internal trade, says the deal will ensure the country procures “high quality wheat at the lowest cost financing available, with comfortable payment terms”.  

“This agreement solidifies our commitment [to] establishing long term supply deals with key producers across the world, so that the people of Egypt have access to essential food supplies and strengthening our food grain supply chain buffer to withstand any unexpected shocks in the global markets.” 

Egypt has for decades maintained a sizeable subsidy scheme which has kept the price of bread for over 60 million Egyptians at 0.05 Egyptian pounds (US$0.0032) per loaf.  

Historically, the country been the world’s largest importer of wheat and bought much of its grain from Russia and Ukraine. Between 2016 and 2020 the country sourced about 18% of its wheat from Ukraine and 58% from Russia, the UN says.  

But Moscow’s invasion and retaliatory western sanctions – which have affected financing and insurance of commodities – have forced Egypt to diversify sources. Since last February, Cairo approved several new countries as eligible sourcing countries, including India, Portugal and Serbia.  

Adex did not confirm which countries the grain will be sourced from when asked by GTR, but a spokesperson says the agency plays a vital role in helping Emirati companies expand their business reach.  

Globally, Al Dahra’s production of grains and oilseeds is approximately 600,000 metric tonnes and according to the company’s website, the firm has grain farming capabilities in the Black Sea region. Meanwhile, the company also has a grains and distribution hub in Fujairah, UAE, and sourcing agreements with farmers and suppliers in Europe, Australia and the Americas.