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Collapsing Lebanese pound hits new lows, meals imports diminished By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Lebanese pound banknotes are seen at a forex change store in Beirut

BEIRUT (Reuters) – The Lebanese pound tumbled to new lows towards the greenback on Friday on a parallel market the place it has now misplaced round 80% of its worth since October, and a meals importer stated the forex collapse was hitting imports.

The forex disaster poses the most important menace to the steadiness of import-reliant Lebanon because the 1975-90 civil struggle.

Meals importers had been being quoted a value of seven,500 to purchase on Friday, stated Hani Bohsali, president of the Syndicate of Importers of Foodstuffs, Client Merchandise and Drinks. A second market participant cited change charges of seven,300/7,600.

That compares to charges of three,850/three,900 at licensed international forex sellers and the official peg of 1,507.5, which the central financial institution continues to be making use of for imports of wheat, medication and gasoline.

The central financial institution stated “liquidity was secured” on the three,850/three,900 charges in an announcement asserting the activation on Friday of a brand new digital buying and selling platform at licensed forex sellers. Black market volumes had been “tiny”, it stated.

However Bohsali stated meals importers have solely been in a position to safe 20% of their international forex wants on the licensed sellers within the final two weeks, leaving them depending on the parallel marketplace for the remaining.

“Meals imports are being diminished. It can’t proceed this manner. If you cannot discover to import, you have no assure that should you ship one thing it is possible for you to to get the funds for it.”

The pound has continued to droop regardless of President Michel Aoun’s pledge on June 16 that the central financial institution would provide the forex market with to prop it up.

Lebanon defaulted on its international forex debt in March, citing critically low reserves.

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