Egypt raises price of gasoline in latest hike amid inflation

Vehicles pass under billboards showing Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi with Arabic which reads, "Our common goal is Egypt: our dream and hope" at a new highway in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023. Egypt is in an economic crisis is partly caused by the yearlong grinding Russian invasion of Ukraine. But the conflict in Europe has also exposed the frailties of an economy suffering from decades of mismanagement, turmoil from its 2011 Arab Spring popular uprising, years of militant attacks and then, the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil) (Amr Nabil, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

CAIRO – Egypt raised the price of some types of gasoline on Thursday, the latest hike to beset the cash-strapped Middle East country amid soaring inflation.

The petroleum ministry said in a statement that it was raising the price of regular, midgrade and premium gasoline mixes of gasoline from between 0.75 to 1 Egyptian pound per liter (around 2.3 to 3.3 cents).

The raise will likely push up the prices of other goods and services across Egypt. However, the price of diesel, the most commonly used fuel for transport of people and goods in Egypt, is unaffected.

The country has been beset by enduring price hikes over recent months, with annual inflation standing at 26.5% in January, the highest in five years, according to official figures. Food prices in some urban areas soared to around 48%, that month.

Egypt's economy has been hit hard by years of government austerity, the coronavirus pandemic and the fallout from the war in Ukraine. The country is the world’s largest wheat importer, with most of its imports having traditionally come from eastern Europe.

To curb its economic turmoil, Egypt secured a $3 billion bailout loan from the International Monetary Fund last December. In return, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi's government committed to various IMF-guided economic reforms, including a free-floating exchange rate for the pound and a reduction in fuel subsidies.

The deal allows for a further $14 billion in possible financing for Egypt.

The rise in fuel costs is likely to exacerbate economic pressures on Egypt’s lower-income households, most of which have long been reliant on government subsidies for basic goods, such as fuel and bread. Nearly 30% of Egyptians live in poverty, according to official figures.