CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt will extend a ban on rice exports until October 2011, a board member at the Egyptian Agricultural Export Council said on Tuesday.
Egypt had first imposed an export ban in March 2008 to control the rising cost of basic commodities, and has since extended it.
“The decision is an extension of ministerial decree number 450 of 2008 to halt exports of Egyptian rice for a period of time,” Mostafa El Naggari told Reuters. “It’s been extended till October 2011.”
Officials at the Trade Ministry were not immediately available to comment.
The export ban was eased last year to allow exporters to sell rice abroad if they delivered the same amount under tender to the state grain buyer, which created an informal market for rice export licences.
In October last year Egypt said it would hold monthly tenders to grant rice export licences to traders, capped at 100,000 tonnes a month, to try to end that market.
The most populous Arab country’s export ban is also part of a wider policy to discourage its farmers from growing rice in order to save water.