BEIRUT — The state hiked fuel prices yet again on Wednesday, sending the cost of 20 liters of gas soaring to more than LL200,000 — almost a third of Lebanon’s monthly minimum wage.
Here’s what we know:
• The price of 20 liters of 95-octane fuel rose to LL202,400, a 16 percent increase from the most recent price of LL174,300, set just five days ago. That price was nearly 40 percent higher than the next-most-recent cost, set on Sept. 8.
• Twenty liters of 98-octane fuel now cost LL209,300, and the price of 20 liters of diesel has been set at LL162,700.
• George Fayad, who heads the fuel importers syndicate, told L’Orient Today that the fuel price was set based on an exchange rate of LL14,000 to the US dollar, which was the rate used on Banque du Liban’s official exchange platform, Sayrafa, on Tuesday.
• Wednesday’s announcement brings the rate at which BDL is providing subsidized dollars to fuel importers even closer to the parallel market exchange rate. In other words, Lebanon’s central bank appears to be inching closer to effectively ending its fuel subsidy program.
• The new, LL14,000 rate is just LL1,800 below the current parallel market rate of LL15,800. Fuel importers’ preferential dollar rate previously rose from LL1,500 to LL3,900 in June; then to LL8,000 in August; and finally to LL12,000 five days ago.