Agro Star Group’s sales scored 16% growth last year, reaching $11.6m, up from $10m in 2016.
Mohamed Samir, general manager, said that Agro Star Group was aiming for 20% growth last year but only realised 16%.
He pointed out that global markets experienced some unrest, resulting in smaller export contracts last year.
Agro Star Group operates in the field of grain import and export and relies mainly on exports to increase its annual turnover.
Samir estimates the company’s exports at 10,000 tonnes per year and imports at 15,000 tonnes annually. The company’s annual sales are divided equally between exports and supplying the local market.
Agro Star Group trades in a number of products, including white beans, dry Egyptian beans, and rice when it is allowed to be exported, as well as some medicinal and aromatic products such as coriander, fennel, and anise.
Samir said the company exports 6,000 tonnes of white beans per year and 2,000 tonnes of herbs and aromatic plants, while the remaining volume constitutes other products.
The company focuses on European markets for exporting grains and herbs, as theyy account for 70% of its exports, followed by India then Arab countries.
The company offers 70% of imports of grains on the domestic market and re-exports the remaining quantity, serving as a mediator between countries though buying from producers, preparing the products, then re-exporting them to benefit from the price difference between buying and selling.
Samir pointed out that the company imports several products for the purpose of re-export, most notably lentils, cowpeas, popcorn, pulp, zucchini pulp, and some aromatic herbs obtained by the company from Syria.
He stressed that the company aims to compete strongly this year, following the depreciation of the pound’s value against foreign currencies after the floatation of the currency in November 2016.
He added that agricultural problems, such as weak production, limits the volume of annual exports, especially as the productivity of each feddan of green beans declined last season by over 60% due to weather conditions.
He pointed out that Egyptian agricultural products have a good reputation globally when compared to the products of many other markets, in terms of quality and specifications, so are accepted by consumers abroad.
He stressed that the improvement of exports requires greater efforts from Egyptian offices of commercial services abroad, which have the role of clarifying the basics of dealing with the markets where they are based and the tastes of consumers there. They also provide integrated studies on the needs of foreign markets and are responsible for solving problems when necessary.
He noted that Egypt needs to develop the agricultural sector to improve its current situation, and to establish a base for investment in it, which will help to achieve self-sufficiency of crops locally and direct excess quantities for export.
He pointed to the importance of working on the production of non-traditional crops which are needed in foreign markets, such as langsat, santol, durian, and ashwagandha, which will give the Egyptian market a fresh global outlook.
In addition, Samir said that scientific research plays a major role in this regard by developing the agricultural land capacity to produce better and higher quality products, and to develop new seeds with increased productivity annually, which should be of interest to the state in the coming period.
Agro Star Group currently operates as a marketer for Egyptian companies abroad to help them open new markets by contacting customers and completing shipping procedures.
The company deals with 40 clients in the domestic market and imports from 25 clients abroad.