Egyptian pound slides past EGP 30 against USD on Monday

Ahram Online , Monday 30 Jan 2023

The Egyptian pound slipped to a new low at over EGP 30 against the US dollar on Monday as the country battles rising inflation and a shortage in foreign currency sparked by the global economic crisis.

Egyptians walk past a poster depicting U.S. dollars and other currencies outside an exchange office in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023. AP


The dollar exchange rate increased to EGP 30.03 on Monday, up from EGP 29.94 a day earlier, according to the official exchange rate of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).

At the National Bank of Egypt (NBE) and Banque Misr, the dollar rate registered EGP 29.9 for buying and EGP 30 for selling, while registering EGP 30 and EGP 30.1 for buying and selling respectively at the Commercial International Bank (CIB).

This is the second time the Egyptian pound has dropped below EGP 30 to the dollar in several local banks, as it fell for a few hours to EGP 31 against the USD in the wake of a devaluation on 11 January, before settling at around 29.5 over the past two weeks.

Monday's slide comes shortly after Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly stressed the government’s commitment to permanently move to the flexible exchange rate regime under the country’s new International Monetary Fund programme.

Since January last year, the Egyptian pound lost almost 50 percent of its value against the USD.

Rising inflation

Egypt's annual headline inflation rose to 21.9 percent in December 2022, up from 19.2 percent a month earlier and 6.5 percent in December 2021, the official statistics agency CAPMAS announced on 10 January, a day before the latest depreciation.

Prices of food and beverages rose by 4 percent, fruit groups by 7.6 percent, dairy products (cheese and eggs) by 6.4 percent, and sugar by 2.5 percent, according to the CAPMAS.

The price of other commodities, such as grains and bread, rose by 5 percent, meat and poultry by 2.8 percent, and fish and seafood rose by 3.1 percent.

Since December, Egypt has worked to release $9.5 billion worth of goods stuck at ports amid a shortage in foreign currency.

In order to ensure covering the country's need of foreign currency, Madbouly issued a decree earlier this month to defer projects that need US dollars and have not yet started among other regulations for state bodies to rationalise public expenditure.

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