SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 20 January 2022, Thursday |

Will bread subsidies be lifted anytime soon?

The Lebanese awoke two days ago to the news of a semi-interruption in bread production due to the loss of flour, and that it is no longer available due to a lack of wheat in warehouses and mills, which do not have sufficient stock, and thus bakeries will not be able to meet the required quantities in the market.
Antoine Seif, head of the Syndicate of Bakeries’ Industry Owners, joined us to discuss this issue.

Despite assurances from concerned authorities about quick solutions, such as the introduction of wheat ships and the disbursement and unloading of their credits in the coming days, is what is happening a foreshadowing of a decision to eliminate wheat subsidies entirely, as with other basic materials such as fuels and medicines?
The decision to lift bread subsidies jeopardizes food security since the price of a bundle of bread would then surpass 30 thousand Lebanese pounds if calculated using the black market dollar pricing, which recently reached 33,000 Lebanese pounds, and most Lebanese will be unable to purchase a bundle of bread. What actions and processes should be done to prevent making such a decision?

Prime Minister Najib Mikati met with Minister of Industry George Bushkian at the Grand Serail and was briefed on the results of his visit to Iraq, which he described as fruitful, as he met with Iraqi Ministers of Industry and Economy with the goal of strengthening bilateral cooperation and activating the work of the Joint Higher Committee.

During his visit, he signed a memorandum of understanding for the exchange of industrial goods with Minister Al-Khabbaz. Mikati, for his part, urged that collaboration between the two nations’ ministries and departments be activated in all areas and fields to benefit both countries’ markets, and he will conduct a ministerial meeting to examine this issue next Monday.

Today’s fuel price increase was 3,000 Lebanese pounds for gasoline 95 octane, 3,000 LBP for octane 98, 16,600 LBP for diesel oil, and 14000 LBP for gas.

The prices became as follows:
Gasoline 95 octane: 377,800 Lebanese pounds.
Gasoline 98 octane: 390,600 Lebanese pounds.
Diesel: 410,000 Lebanese pounds.
Gas: 359,500 Lebanese pounds.