Egyptian General Petroleum Corp (EGPC) did not receive its full dollar needs from the central bank in November and is negotiating with banks to delay dollar payments it owes to them, a company official told Reuters on Tuesday.
Egypt is facing a dollar shortage and mounting pressure to devalue the pound. Foreign reserves have tumbled from $36 billion in 2011 to $16.42 billion in November and the country has focused on directing its dollars to strategic commodities.
"We are in negotiations to delay dollar instalments that the EGPC owes," the EGPC official said. "All the revenues of the EGPC are directed toward providing the country's needs for petrochemical products."
Egypt's import bill for petroleum and natural gas is roughly $800 million per month.
"The central bank did not provide the EGPC's full dollar needs in November and that forced the authority to spend from its own resources," the official said, without giving any details about the size of loans on which EGPC is negotiating to delay payment.