Egypt's importers will be able to obtain letters of credit (L/Cs) at preferential exchange rates for essential goods during June according the country's finance ministry.

It says that the exchange rate for essential imports was fixed at 16 Egyptian pounds (E£16) to the US dollar between 1 June and 30 June.

Non-essential commodities

The ministry has provided a list of non-essential commodities that will be subject to the Central Bank of Egypt's dollar exchange rate of E£16.86 to the US dollar.

Non-essential commodities include caviar, shrimp, lobster, ornamental fish, alcoholic beverages, pet food, cosmetics, tobacco products, flowers, domestic industry products, shoes, furniture, passenger cars and motorcycles.

L/Cs available

A member of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce (FEDCOC), Ahmed Sheha, has said that importers should face few difficulties obtaining L/Cs at the preferential rate.

He maintains that banks have US dollar surpluses due to an increase in foreign currency deposits.

Some analysts are warning however that making import finance relatively easy to obtain means relatively cheaper imports could threaten sales of goods and commodities produced in Egypt.

This article represents the views of the author and not necessarily those of the ICC or Coastline Solutions.