Bakeries call for general strike if dollars are not secured

The price of a ton of flour has increased by an average of 30 Lebanese pounds given the scarcity of US dollars in the market and inflated exchange rates, the association of flour mills said.
by Annahar Staff

10 October 2019 | 15:07

Source: by Annahar

  • by Annahar Staff
  • Source: Annahar
  • Last update: 10 October 2019 | 15:07

Wheat levels have dropped to dangerous levels, according to the Association of Flour Mills (Annahar)

BEIRUT: Bakery owners have called for a general strike next Monday if Lebanese officials fail to come up with a solution to the dollar shortage in the market. 

"Our calls have fallen on deaf ear," a statement issued Thursday read, adding that "officials' many promises have failed to materialize."

The price of a ton of flour has increased by an average of 30 Lebanese pounds given the scarcity of US dollars in the market and inflated exchange rates, the association of flour mills said. 

It also announced that it would start charging flour in US dollars as a result of the dilemma. 

Wheat importers, like gas station proprietors, have been forced in some instances to hit money exchange houses, which have exploited the current state of affairs to charge rates well above the official peg of 1,507.5 Lebanese pounds to the dollar. In certain cases, rates can reach 1,550 Lebanese pounds to the dollar.

The rise of black market rates has also brought into the fold ordinary citizens, with a number of Lebanese buying dollars from banks and selling them to vendors, pocketing the change. This has also played a role in banks limiting ATMs withdrawals recently. 

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