Egyptian gov't to provide weekly updates on import backlogs

Ahram Online , Monday 26 Dec 2022

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said the government will keep the public updated on the amount of goods released from the ports on a weekly basis as it seeks to resolve the $9.5 billion import backlog soon to keep the economic wheel turning and keep production running.

Damietta port
File: A shipment of containers at Damietta port on the Mediterranean.


The figures will include the amount of released goods and the type of products, Madbouly said on Monday in a comment during the inauguration of two gas production factories and a tri-generation plant in the Abu Rawash district of Giza, which was attended by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

Madbouly said the government released goods worth $5 billion from ports between 1 to 23 December in cooperation with the banking sector. Meanwhile, goods worth $4-4.5 billion are ready to be released to cover the needs of the coming four months, including the holy fasting month of Ramadan, which sees higher demand rates for commodities.

The government plans to release the remaining goods soon as the government seeks to keep the production process functioning in the factories nationwide, he stressed.

Vast quantities of goods, including production inputs, have been accumulating at Egyptian ports amid a shortage in foreign currency due to economic shocks caused by the Russia-Ukraine war.

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) announced in October that by December, it would phase out the use of letters of credit (LCs), which the CBE has mandated since March. The LCs aimed to alleviate the pressure on foreign currency. However, the step has caused imported goods to be held up at ports.

Recently, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a 46-month arrangement for Egypt to receive a loan of $3 billion to help meet the country’s balance of payment needs and support its budget.

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