Egypt “temporarily” halts fish export

Egypt has halted fish exports to meet local demand and curb a recent surge in domestic prices, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi announced on Tuesday.

Speaking at a youth conference in Egypt’s coastal city of Ismailia, Al-Sisi said that the country has been exporting around 40,000 tonnes of fish every year, adding “however, we found that our exports of fish rose to around 120,000 tonnes over the last three months only.”

The Egyptian president attributed the rise in the fish exports to the central bank’s decision to liberalise the Egyptian pound’s exchange rate last November. He did not mention how long the suspension would remain in force.

Fish prices increased by 10.6 per cent in March compared to the month before, according to the state’s statistical body CAPMAS. Prices continued to increase despite the inauguration of a large fish farm in Ismailia in December, which aimed to reduce a gap between production and consumption estimated at 700,000 tonnes. Egypt’s annual production of fish is currently estimated at 1.5 million tonnes, according to official data.

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