Egypt Banks to Clear Import Backlog within days

A televised event last Monday reassured the public, through the President’s remarks, that the overhang in commodities that fueled demand for the US currency on the black market will not last much longer.

President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi shared in his stamen on Monday that he expects the Egyptian banks will be able to secure enough dollars to cover the imports’ backlog in a matter of four days.

In December, the central bank imposed the issuance of a letter of credit requirement, which prompted officials to step in and work extra hard to clear the import backlog. Estimated at above $5 B in December, it resulted in a huge buildup of goods at ports. According to the authorities, the previously mentioned letter is to be revoked shortly.

During the event, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly also stated that between December 1 to 23, nearly $5 B worth of commodities had been lifted from the ports, leaving around $9.5 B at the docks.

El Sisi’s remarks followed speculations of a further devaluation in the pound after the previous two that already occurred in 2022. The International Monetary Fund keeps stressing authorities to be more flexible about the currency exchange rate, which they think is a beneficial step towards securing Egypt a $3 B package from the lender in Washington.

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