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Egypt to control prices of 10 commodities as inflation rises

CAIRO - Egypt will control the prices of 10 essential commodities, a statement from the Prime Minister's office said on Monday, as the country tries to keep inflation in check amid a shortage of foreign currency.

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A family collects seeds out of a threshing machine as they harvest their wheat crop Oct. 6 in the Nile Delta province of Al-Baheira, northwest of Cairo. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih/files

CAIRO - Egypt will control the prices of 10 essential commodities, a statement from the Prime Minister's office said on Monday, as the country tries to keep inflation in check amid a shortage of foreign currency.

The list includes livestock and frozen meat, poultry, fish, oils, sugar, rice, beans, corn, soybean and wheat.

The statement did not specify what measures would be taken to keep prices under control. It follows a speech this month by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi promising greater state intervention in curbing price rises.

Egypt's annual consumer inflation rose to 9.7 percent in October, from 9.2 percent in September.

The ministry of supplies recently said Egypt's grain buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), would begin importing a broader array of essential goods to push down prices.

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GASC launched its first international tender for poultry earlier this month, but pressure from the local poultry industry has made the body backtrack on plans to continue tendering, traders say.

Monday's statement also said the state would negotiate for various goods that it would supply through distribution points. Egypt has 5,333 such distribution points, it said.

"A contract for 800,000 heads of cattle has been made, which will contribute to supplying fresh meat at the price of 50 Egyptian pounds ($6.39) per kilo," the statement said.

The price for fresh meat currently hovers around 100 Egyptian pounds per kilo.

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