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USDA GAIN: Oilseeds, Cotton, Sugar, Grain and Feed

08 May 2012

USDA GAIN: Egypt Oilseeds and Products Annual 2012USDA GAIN: Egypt Oilseeds and Products Annual 2012

Imports of soybeans and soybeans meal decreased in MY 2011/12, negatively impacted by disease problems in the poultry industry, but are expected to partially recover in MY 2012/13 with improved economic growth. Prices of sunflower oil are at least $100/MT less than soybean oil, spurring sunflower oil imports to record levels of 850 TMT in MY 2011/12 and, barring a change in relative prices, forecast at 830 TMT in MY 2012/13. Through mid-April, the public sector Food Industries Holding Company had already contracted for 400 TMT of sun oil for the ration card program. On the other hand imports of soybean oil are not expected to exceed 100 TMT in MY 2011/12 and 200 TMT in MY 2012/13. Egypt’s relatively small oilseed production is forecast to decrease in MY 2012/13 as farmers plant less cotton.
USDA GAIN Report - Oilseeds, Cotton, Sugar, Grain and Feed


Area Planted

Cottonseed is the major oilseed crop in Egypt. Soybeans and sunflower are the other oilseed crops. All are cultivated in summer. Cotton area increased in MY 2011/12 by about 38 percent compared to MY 2010/11. This increase was mainly attributed to the increase in both world and local market prices for cotton in MY 2010/11. However, cotton area is forecast to decrease significantly from 220 TH in MY 2011/12 to 154 in MY 2012/13 due to the sharp decrease in cotton prices in MY 2011/12 and the large quantities of seed cotton still held by farmers. Demand for cotton this year is down, especially for Egyptian long and extra-long staple cotton, which will have negative impact on cotton planting.

Sunflower seed area increased from 3,000 hectares in MY 2010/11 to 5,000 in MY 2011/12 and expected to be at the same level in MY 2012/13. Soybean area remains unchanged.


Soybean meal production in MY 2011/12 is expected to decrease by about 10 percent due to poultry disease problems and shutting down some farms which decreased the demand for meal. It is expected that the meal production will increase from about 1,185 TMT to 1,250 in MY 2012/13 anticipating partial recovery of the poultry industry. Over 90 percent of the soybean meal comes from imported soybeans. Sunflower meal production remained at the same level of 104 TMT in MY 2011/12, however it is expected that it will increase slightly in MY 2012/13 due to the expected small increase in imports of sunflower seed.

In MY 2011/12, production of cottonseed meal increased 37 percent in line with increased production, but will decline in MY 2012/13 due to the expected smaller area of cotton.


Soybean oil production decreased in MY 2011/12, but it is still the major edible oil produced in Egypt. Soybean oil production is forecast to increase from 270 TMT in MY 2011/12 to 280 TMT in MY 2012/13 due to the expected increase in soybean imports from 1.5 MMT in MY 2011/12 to 1.6 MMT in MY 2012/13. In MY 2011/12 cottonseed oil production increased from 27 TMT in MY 2010/11 to 37 TMT in MY 2011/12, but expected to decrease again to 27 TMT in MY 2012/13 due to the smaller area of cotton expected to be planted in the coming season. In MY 2011/12, sunflower oil production increased by 7 TMT from the previous season, and expected to be at the same range of about 28TMT in MY 2012/13.


Meal Consumption

Egypt's oil meal consumption is affected by the status of livestock, poultry, and aquaculture sectors. Egypt’s poultry sector was badly affected by outbreaks of avian influenza and IB in MY 2011/12, but the aquaculture sector is considered a fast growing sector. The current FMD outbreak could further impact soy meal demand, but has not as yet. Soybean meal consumption was estimated at 1.9 MMT in MY 2010/11 and decreased to 1.8 MMT in MY 2011/12. A slight recovery is expected in MY 2012/13. Soybean meal is the major meal consumed in Egypt. About 1 MMT of the meal is consumed by poultry, 500 TMT by feeder and dairy cattle and about 350 TMT consumed by aquaculture. Cottonseed cake and to some extent sunflower meal are used in livestock feed. The aquaculture industry also is beginning to expand and modernize, and many farms have begun using high quality feed rations based on protein meals, primarily soybean meal.

Vegetable Oil Consumption

In MY 2011/12, the total quantity consumed of oil in Egypt was about 2 MMT, in which sunflower oil for the first time ever represented 45%, palm oil represented about one-third, and soybean oil represented 19% of the total quantity consumed. In MY 2011/12, total vegetable oil consumption was almost the same as the year before and will continue to be the same in MY 2012/13. About one-half of the oil consumed is subsidized through the ration card program, which now covers some 64 million persons. Ration card holders are allowed only 0.50 Kg./person/month at a subsidized price of LE 3.0/kilo ($1 = LE 6.02). In addition, another 1.0 kg at LE 3.0/kilo (with a maximum of 4 kilos per family) is allowed. The average price for oil marketed by private producers ranges from LE 12 to 15 per liter. Because of its relatively low price, palm oil continues to maintain its competitive position with other imported oils for both human consumption and industrial use. Palm stearin is imported mainly as a substitute for tallow in the manufacture of soap.


In MY 2011/12, the U.S. market share in the soybean import market expected to reach about 43 percent, slightly higher than the year before. The current average price for soybeans imported is about $530 C&F Alexandria compared to about $540/ton in MY 2010/11. The current price of local soybeans is about $480/ton. In MY 2011/12 sunflower oil has dominated the Egyptian market due it lower price compared to soybean oil. Sunflower oil prices are cheaper than soybean oil by about $100/ton. Over 80% of the imports of soybean oil and sunflower oil are imported by the public sector Food Industries Holding Company for the ration card holder, while all the palm oil is imported by the private sector. The Holding Company had already contracted for 400 TMT of sunflower oil imports in MY 2011/12 through mid April. Post estimates soybean oil imports in MY 2011/12 at 100 TMT and 200 TMT in MY 2012/13. Sources in the local trade continue to maintain that only 650 TMT of palm oil are imported annually, although Post understands that Malaysia and Indonesia export data show much higher levels.

In MY 2011/12, Egypt imported 1.5 MMT of soybeans, compared to 1.64 MT in MY 2010/11. It is expected that imports of soybeans in MY 2012/13 will reach 1.6 MMT again. Egypt imports about 50,000 MT of sunflower seed.

Soybean meal continues to be the major meal imported into Egypt. In MY 2011/12, total soybean meal imports were 500 TMT and forecast at 500 TMT in 2012/13. In MY 2010/11 Brazil and India captured most of the Egyptian market with only about 80 TMT of U.S. meal. U.S. soybean meal is currently imported at $480per MT C&F for 44 percent protein, compared to $460 per MT C&F from South America.


The current tariff rate for soybeans, sunflower seed, linseed, palm kernel, and sesame seed, is zero.

Oilseed meal and cake extracted from vegetable oilseeds are subjected to an import duty of 5 percent, plus 2 percent port charges.

Tariffs on imported seed oils are as follows:

  • Import tariffs on bulk crude and refined soybean, sunflower, cotton and palm oil are Zero.

  • Tariffs on packed refined soybean, sunflower, cotton and palm are varying between 2 and 5 percent.

May 2012

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