Egypt released $1.5 billion worth of stranded imports since 1 Jan

Ahram Online , Wednesday 11 Jan 2023

More than $1.5 billion worth of imported goods was released between 1 and 10 January as part of the government's efforts to resolve Egypt's import backlog, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said on Wednesday.

File Photo: A general view of Port of Alexandria. courtesy of RSMT website.
File Photo: A general view of Port of Alexandria. courtesy of RSMT website.


The released cargos include goods worth $613 million used for manufacturing purposes, including those related to food production, primary and manufactured industrial requirements, and spare parts.

The released goods also comprised foodstuff including $40 million worth of corn, $28 million worth of soybeans, and $56 million worth of pharmaceutical chemicals, according to Madbouly.

Vast quantities of goods, including production inputs valued in the billions of dollars, had been accumulating at Egyptian ports after curbs were imposed on import finance due to a hard currency crunch resulting from the Russian-Ukrainian war.

In February, the Central Bank of Egypt obliged importers to use letters of credit to finance their imports, before they were phased out gradually by the end of December.

The abolition of the Letters of Credit system for imported goods, alongside a flexible exchange rate, is among a host of commitments Egypt has pledged in order to secure a $3 billion IMF loan to address the impacts of the inflationary wave and the FX pressure caused by the war in Ukraine.

Today's announcement brings the value of the released imported goods to $8.5 billion since early December.

PM Madbouly said efforts will continue to speed up the release of all goods held at the country's ports to make them available in the local market.

The government has said it is giving priority to food products, food manufacturing components, medicines, and production requirements.

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