While gas station queues still seem to be a never-ending nightmare for commuters, Lebanon has officially raised the price of fuel.
The rise comes after the Lebanese government agreed to finance fuel imports at the exchange rate of 3,900 LBP per 1 USD rather than 1,500 LBP. The Central Bank agreed on Monday to start selling the dollar to banks at 3,900 LBP for the fuel imports.
According to a statement by caretaker Prime Minster Hassan Diab, securing fuel is meant to boost tourism that would expectedly improve the economy, but it comes at a heavy cost for the average Lebanese citizen.
According to the Energy Ministry, the average new fuel prices as of Tuesday are:
- UNL 95: 61,100 LBP (an increase of 15,900 LBP)
- UNL 98: 62,900 LBP (an increase of 16,300 LBP)
- Diesel: 46,100 LBP (an increase of 12,800 LBP)
- Gas (LPG): 37,600 LBP (an increase of 9,200 LBP)
Lebanese officials widely blamed the gasoline crisis on smuggling. In an interview with SBI, Lebanese businessman, Fouad Makhzoumi, expressed that smuggling would not stop with the rise of the fuel prices in Lebanon because the price of fuel is still higher in Syria.
Meanwhile, ships have begun unloading their fuel in preparation for distribution to gas stations across the country.