Lebanese: Suffocating pressures are increasing on the Lebanese economy, as fuel prices have risen again today, while the Lebanese are complaining about the decline in purchasing power due to the rise in prices and the collapse of the exchange rate of the lira.
A Lebanese report stated that all fuel prices increased significantly today, Tuesday, as the price of gasoline, 95 and 98 octane, increased by 8000 pounds, and diesel oil by 10,000 pounds, and gas by 4000 pounds.
And according to what was reported by the “National News Agency” today, the price of gasoline became 95 octanes 646,000 pounds, gasoline 98 octanes 661,000 pounds, diesel 800,000 pounds, and gas 354 thousand pounds.
Lebanon is suffering from an economic crisis, a decline in the volume of financial flows from abroad, a rise in the volume of public debt, a rise in the exchange rate of the dollar against the Lebanese pound, and a decline in purchasing power due to the rise in prices and the collapse of the exchange rate of the lira.
Lifting fuel subsidies
The Central Bank of Lebanon completely stopped providing dollars for gasoline imports, in a move that led to a sharp increase in pump prices on Monday.
The central bank said last year that it would stop offering dollars at subsidized exchange rates due to dwindling foreign currency reserves, but it continued to do so at below market rates via an “exchange” platform.
The bank gradually reduced the amount of dollars it provided through “exchange” during the past weeks.
A central bank spokesman told media that importers now have to get dollars from the black market, as the currency traded at around 35,000 to the dollar on Monday, while last week’s exchange rate settled near 28,000.
“If there is more volatility in the exchange rate, there will be more volatility in the price of fuel,” Maroun Shammas, a member of the Federation of Petroleum Import Companies, told the media.
The price of 20 litres of gasoline jumped by 20,000 liras on Monday, a marked increase compared to the normal daily fluctuations of a few thousand liras in previous weeks.
So far, Shammas said, importers have been able to get all the dollars they need from the black market, and said gasoline pumps would continue to accept payment in Lebanese pounds at the daily rate on the black market.
The minimum wage in the country is 675,000 Lebanese pounds.