The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) is unable to provide the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) with its monthly requirement of $700m for the import of petroleum products, natural gas, as well as the payment of loans from foreign banks, reports Daily News Egypt.
In the report, an official with the EGPC stated that the CBE had provided only $160m of the claimed $700m in October, placing a strain on the EGPC to provide the remaining sum to meet market needs.
The CBE is currently facing a foreign currency shortage due to the political and economic turnover that Egypt has been experiencing in recent years. While Egyptian foreign currency reserves increased slightly to $16.414b in October, the bank was unable to release the full amount requested by the EGPC, over fears of a downgrade in Egypt’s credit rating, should reserves fall.
According to Daily News Egypt, the EGPC had requested $2.4b in 2015 to be paid in $800m installments each month. However, the CBE allocated only $1.8b for that time frame, while the EGPC paid the difference for the LNG import from its budget.
The funds mostly go towards fuel imports – which have fallen to $650 per month, compared to $800m per month a year ago, due to lower oil price.
Other costs include the import of LNG ($240m per month), rental of gasification ships and repayment of facilitation provided by Saudi Arabia and UAE.