Ship at Egypt s Damietta port. Offical website.
The released goods include $14.3 billion in strategic commodities and $24.8 billion in production inputs.
In September alone, $5.9 billion of goods were released, including $1.8 billion in strategic goods and $2.7 billion in production inputs.
Egypt has been facing a shortage in foreign currency, which is required to release goods from ports, estimated at $17 billion through 2026.
The backlogs started to accumulate with the start of the Ukraine war in February 2022, which sparked a global wave of inflation, leading central banks worldwide to increase interest rates.
Tight monetary policies lured investors away from emerging markets which resulted in $22 billion of foreign investments fleeing Egypt.
In February 2022, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) introduced a new policy mandating importers to conduct their deals through the official banking system. The new system, letters of credit is a payment mechanism used in international trade to provide an economic guarantee from a creditworthy bank to an exporter of goods.
However, the letter-of-credit system received objections from importers and aggravated the supply chain problem.
The backlog at Egyptian ports reached its peak at $15 billion in October 2022.
In December 2022, the CBE revoked the system.