Egypt’s import restrictions are a double-edged sword 

By Sherif Tarek
Posted on Monday, 1 August 2022 11:59

A man reaches for products at a supermarket aisle with vegetable oil in Cairo, Egypt, March 22, 2022. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany RC2N7T9XYWTA

Measures meant to curb imports, alleviate foreign currency shortages, and eliminate the black market in Egypt have evidently been successful, yet at the expense of already-rising consumer prices.

Magdi, an importer in Egypt where a number of staples and products, such as cereals and oils, are shipped from abroad, has not been able to bring in a single item since the Ukraine war erupted in February.

The Egyptian man, who did not want his real name to be disclosed, is one of the thousands of importers who have borne the brunt of the Russian invasion and the ensuing hard currency crunch in the North African nation.

“Importing is largely on pause,” Magdi tells The Africa Report. “If you have a stock, then you’ll be using it, but this is dangerous since after a while the stock will run out” and various goods will be scarce, he adds.

Inflationary pressures