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Economic Crisis

Dollar selling price on the parallel market exceeds LL15,000

Dollar selling price on the parallel market exceeds LL15,000

The US dollar is being sold for over LL15,000 on the parallel market. (Credit: AFP)

BEIRUT — The Lebanese lira edged closer to its lowest recorded value Friday, with the US dollar being sold for over LL15,000 on the parallel market, according to exchange rate applications and sellers contacted by L’Orient Today.

By early Friday afternoon, exchangers were buying dollars for LL14,900-LL14,950 and selling for LL15,000, nearing March’s record lows of LL15,300. Several exchangers told L’Orient Today over the phone that they had stopped trading altogether.

The lira hovered around LL14,800 on Thursday after falling sharply on Wednesday, a day after the central bank announced a repayment plan for holders of foreign currency accounts.

The currency’s continued slide comes amid ongoing financial and economic uncertainty and rising concerns over the removal of subsidies on imported goods.

Over the last week, people have waited in hourslong lines outside gas stations to refuel and the medical sector has warned of imminent cuts to services due to lack of supplies. Pharmacists across the country began a two-day strike on Friday against shortages of medicines and infant milk formula.

Importers of medicines and fuel have accused the central bank of failing to provide dollars it has promised for the payment of foreign suppliers. Banque du Liban has denied these allegations.

Lebanon now has at least four different exchange rates: the official peg of LL1,507.5; the “lollar” rate of LL3,900 at which people can withdraw foreign currency deposited before April 9, 2020; the central bank’s Sayrafa exchange rate of LL12,000; and the parallel market rate.

Since the lira first began to deviate from its official peg in summer 2019, the currency has lost around 90 percent of its value. As its value has continued to sink, inflation and the cost of living have soared, leaving more and more people struggling to make ends meet.

When the lira last plunged to LL15,000, supermarkets and shops curbed their operating hours as they struggled to keep up with rapidly changing rates.

Meanwhile, it has been more than 10 months since Lebanon had a fully empowered government and continued squabbling between the president and prime minister-designate over the naming of ministers has prolonged a stalemate over the formation of a new cabinet.


BEIRUT — The Lebanese lira edged closer to its lowest recorded value Friday, with the US dollar being sold for over LL15,000 on the parallel market, according to exchange rate applications and sellers contacted by L’Orient Today.By early Friday afternoon, exchangers were buying dollars for LL14,900-LL14,950 and selling for LL15,000, nearing March’s record lows of LL15,300. Several...