The debts of Libya make it hard for the wheat import
06 December 20132 min reading
Libya, who cannot pay its debts to the wheat exporters for longer than a year due to the political turmoil and economic problems, has some troubles for the new imports.
The North African country, Libya faces difficulties in making big deals to buy wheat due to payment problems together with political turmoil and infighting between the government and parliament.
Economy Minister Mustafa Abu Fanas said that Libya does not have the risk of having bread shortage for months but they have to pay the increasing debts that haven’t been paid for more than a year to the wheat exporters in order to guarantee the flour supply for the coming period.
Saying that the government had asked parliament to approve payments for wheat purchases to private firms and agencies backed by the state; Minister Fanas stated that the government had budgeted 1.5 billion Libyan dinars ($1.2 billion) for wheat tenders this fiscal year but that there was some unpaid debt from the previous fiscal year that needed to be cleared. He continued as; “We are not worried about flour shortages for the coming period. I am talking about one or even two months”. According to the news by Reuters; Mahatan Tripoli, Libya’s biggest wheat importer, earlier said that it might have to put off its next purchase unless the state starts paying it nearly $100 million owed for previous imports. This week it issued a tender for 50,000 tons of wheat, however.
Analysts say part of the problem is an oversupply of bread, because the government keeps prices at a fraction of production costs to ease social tensions. As much as 40 percent of bread produced is disposed of as waste or is fed to animals, officials say. Foreign trade and shipping sources say some exporters have become more reluctant to deal with Libya. Cargoes shipped to Libya have been smaller sized in recent months.
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