Libya’s imports plummet by 45% in two years

Libya’s imports plummet by 45% in two years

February 19, 2017 - 18:46
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Written By: AbdulkaderAssad

Libya’s imports have shrunk by 45% over the last couple of years in comparison to the normal ratio of the country’s imports, confirmed the Head of the media office of the Libyan Ports Company, Mohammed Al-Gweri.

Al-Gweri added that in 2016, the imports decreased by 17% compared to 2015 due to the financial hiccup in Libya.

“Shipped goods and commodities to Libya reached 5.3 million tons in 2016, while they reached 6.4 million tons in 2015.” Al-Gweri explained.

He remarked that the drop in imports affected the basic goods such as grains, whose imports amounted to 2.6 million tons last year compared to 3 million tons in 2013.

“Difficulties facing businesspersons to open letters of credit, and the shortage of foreign currencies at commercial banks are two reason behind the decrease of imports’ ratio.” Al-Gweri indicated.

Late in 2016, the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) in Tripoli allocated 750 million dollars for the letters of credit for businesspersons to use in importing foods and medicines in the first two months of 2017.

“Libyan operating ports are in Tripoli, Al-Khums, Misrata, Brega and Tobruk, while Ras Lanuf port is barely operating and Benghazi and Derna ports are shut.” Al-Gweri pointed out.

Libyans are currently suffering from a loud-out market with prices of basic goods and foods soaring day in and day out amid very deteriorated living standards and economic conditions in the country.

Libya is 85% dependent on importation to cover the needs of the people in all kinds of goods and commodities, which has become a nightmarish business as the dollar keeps leaping in the black market reaching $1=LYD7 before resting at around $1=LYD6 in the black market, when its official rate is $1=LYD1.4.