According to sources for “Al-Arabi Al-Jadeed”, the operations to grant any new credits to supply goods stopped more than a month ago, which led to a shortage of stocks of food commodities.
This comes amid a dispute between the National Accord government and the Central Bank of Libya, as the latter calls for raising the proportion of the fee imposed on foreign exchange sales, in order to open a system of documentary credits to feed the general budget from fee revenues, due to the closure of oil fields and ports since the eighteenth of January The second last.
Libya relies on providing 95% of its revenues through oil revenues, and most of the production was halted due to the war waged by the forces of the retired general, Khalifa Hifter, which led to a stifling financial crisis for the country.
The National Oil Corporation of Libya said recently that the economic repercussions resulting from the prolonged blockade of its vital oil facilities have resulted in losses exceeding $ 3.5 billion, while the country faces the outbreak of the new Corona virus.
Merchants and suppliers in the creamy market, Libya’s largest market, confirmed to Al-Arabi Al-Jadeed that the commodity stockpiles are decreasing daily, and some basic commodities are sufficient for a week, such as milk, tomato paste and edible oil, while other commodities such as sugar have disappeared.
They said that Libya is on the verge of an acute food crisis if the documentary credits system is not opened before Ramadan, at the end of next month.
A wholesaler, Farhat Al-Masalati, told Al-Arabi Al-Jadeed that prices have risen in the past few days by between 20 and 25% for different commodities, noting the great demand for food commodities and cleaning materials. On the other hand, the head of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce, Mohamed Al-Rayedh, assured that “the new Arab”, that the private sector has a sufficient stock of three months, and senior businessmen have the ability to cover the requirements of the local market by importing large quantities of goods in the event of opening documentary credits.
Al-Raidh explained that failure to open credits means that a major shortage will occur in the local market, calling for the necessity of taking a number of measures to address the deteriorating conditions in the market.
But the commodity supplier, Hassan Mohamed, assured Al-Arabi Al-Jadeed that the Central Bank of Libya was late in not opening the credits since the beginning of last February with the large wave of purchases by citizens and the curfew caused the stock to drop to 50%, and therefore the prices of some commodities increased to 120% in the period after the outbreak of the Corona crisis.
The economic researcher, Nuri Al-Habarat, told Al-Arabi Al-Jadeed that many categories need today to be compensated and financially assisted, especially with the rise in inflation rates due to the high dollar exchange rate.