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Why is Spaghetti Excluded from Egypt's Export Ban?

Put in place due to the Russia-Ukraine crisis, the Ministry of Trade and Industry has made an exception to the export ban: spaghetti. Not just any pasta. Specifically spaghetti.

Due to the food shortage caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Egyptian government has banned exports of many food items including wheat, flour and lentils in order to ensure that there is enough to feed the local population. However, the Ministry of Trade and Industry has made an exception to the export ban: spaghetti. Not just any pasta. Specifically spaghetti.


The Egyptian Food Export Council explained that the reason behind this exclusion is because of the increased demand for spaghetti from African countries, a surplus stock of spaghetti in Egypt, and the lack of demand for it within Egypt (not so many people eating koshary these days, we suppose?). Pasta exports reached USD 80 million in 2020, and USD 75 million in 2021.


The Chamber of Cereals Industry is advocating for the exclusion of other types of pasta from the export ban, arguing that with 700 pasta producing factories throughout the country, the Egyptian industry is able to produce two million tonnes of pasta annually - which may be sufficient to meet both local and foreign demand. By opening the door to exports, it could increase the productivity of the mills that work on luxury flour.