| 26 February 2024, Monday |

Is Lebanon’s wheat and fuel storage at risk?

Ukraine is one of the major grain exporters to the Middle East and North Africa region. To what extent will the Russian war affect the wheat stocks in Lebanon? Are we on the verge of a new fuel crisis?

Russia and Ukraine are among the world’s largest grain exporters, and there is no doubt that the escalation of the crisis between the two countries has significant impacts on global markets. The war in the North of Europe will lead to a significant rise in food prices globally, within an upward trend in the cost of the food basket, according to what the FAO recorded in the past years.

Without a doubt, Lebanon, like other Arab countries, will be negatively affected, especially as it imports 50 percent of its wheat needs from Ukraine. Will the Ministry of Economy and Trade in Lebanon have an alternative, and is there a plan that will save the Lebanese citizen from more crises?

The Association of Mills in Lebanon issued a statement declaring that the war in Ukraine led to the cancellation of all wheat sales deals, which led to an increase in the price of one ton of wheat to range between 45 and 50 US dollars.

The assembly called on the government to define the policy to be adopted for importing wheat, and to secure a strategic reserve stock of it, because the available stock is enough for only one month, knowing that its price is unpaid and must be paid so that it can be milled.

The economic effects will not be limited to the food basket alone, as the price of a barrel of oil is expected to reach $120, and the global economy will radically change. All of this will undoubtedly affect energy and manufacturing costs.

To what extent will Lebanon be affected by the war in northern Europe with regard to fuel prices, and will the price of a can of gasoline rise to nearly 450,000 pounds after the price of a barrel of oil in the global market jumped to more than $100?

The representative of fuel distributors, Fadi Abu Shakra, denied that the stations had stopped delivering fuel, and stressed that the companies were working to deliver gasoline on a regular basis and were unloading their ships.

Lately, bad news has been circulating saying that the security situation is unstable and that Lebanon is on the cusp of an internal war or a Lebanese-Israeli war, which is making the number of tourists drop. But what well-informed sources told Sawt Beirut International, the head of the Federation of Tourist Syndicates, Pierre Al-Ashkar, rules out that the Minister of Health’s decision to exempt arrivals to Lebanon and vaccinated persons from the PCR examination at the airport will play a role in attracting tourists to Lebanon. He considered that the main factor in attracting tourists to any country is political stability, and this matter is not available in Lebanon, in addition to the crises with many Arab, Gulf and European countries. He also ruled out the increase in the number of tourists in the spring, especially as we are coming to a parliamentary election battle, at a time when there are no positives that might encourage Arab and foreign tourists to visit the country.

  • Sawt Beirut International