BEIRUT — Lebanon is “at the gates of a bread crisis,” warned the Federation of Bakeries Syndicates on Wednesday.
Here’s what we know:
• “We are now on the verge of a bread crisis after several flour mills have stopped their work,” the federation warned in a statement. The mills are waiting for the Banque du Liban (BDL) to pay necessary credits to cover the costs of importing wheat shipments, the statement added.
• For the second week in a row, “bakeries are not being delivered flour from mills across Lebanon,” hence the cessation of bread production in many bakeries, some of which reportedly have quantities “not enough for more than one day.”
• The syndicate had issued similar warnings a number of times since the onset of Lebanon’s financial crisis in 2019, but while decreased supply and panic buying have led to long lines for bread on occasions, a protracted supply crisis has yet to materialize.
• Fears of compounding disruptions to wheat and bread supplies have risen since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, since Lebanon imports the bulk of its wheat from the Black Sea region.
• The union accused the Economy Minister Amin Salam of not being accurate in his wheat stocks assessment and asked him “to be frank with people about the reality of the supply, especially with regard to wheat, so that bakeries are not held responsible if they stop operating.”