The Egyptian authorities have announced that prices for subsidized sugar and cooking oil would be raised -- by 14 and 20 percent respectively -- starting Wednesday.
Egyptians consume an estimated 250,000 tons of sugar each month, according to Egypt’s Supply Ministry. Of this, 150,000 tons are subsidized by the state.
The increase means Egyptians using ration cards will now pay 8 Egyptian pounds (roughly $0.4) for a kilogram of sugar, up from 7 pounds (approximately $0.3) previously.
Consumers of subsidized cooking oil, meanwhile, will now have to pay 12 Egyptian pounds (roughly $0.6) per bottle, up from an earlier 10 pounds (approximately $0.5).
Egypt suffers from an acute shortfall of sugar, which prompted the government to raise subsidized sugar prices -- from 5 to 7 pounds per kilogram -- last November.
Following a currency devaluation late last year, the Egyptian authorities increased monthly subsidies granted to citizens via ration cards from 18 Egyptian pounds (roughly $1) to 21 pounds (roughly $1.1).
Currently, some 21 million Egyptians use ration cards, according to the Supply Ministry.