Bread in Libya is still plentiful and cheap, but analysts warn that this may not last much longer.
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Imports of food, including wheat, are dropping sharply to Libya, which has the highest per capita bread consumption in the world, as foreign shippers run scared of making direct deliveries due to worsening turmoil.Libya, which is mainly desert, exports oil but depends on imports of everything from wheat to milk to feed its 6 million people.Food prices have gone up however, especially in the east where fighting has closed the main Benghazi port for six months.Husni Bey, chairman of the HB Group, one of the biggest importers of food, consumer articles and commodities, said wheat imports had fallen by 30 percent this year and port volumes were seen down by 50 percent as foreign banks and shippers were increasingly reluctant to deal with Libya.Port data on Reuters Eikon showed imports of wheat into Libya slid to 37,898 tons in June, down from 88,597 tons in May and 144,556 tons in February – the highest month-on-month import figure this year.White sugar deliveries have also fallen; Libya has consumed between 230,000 and 250,000 tons of white sugar in recent years. Fighting on various fronts has reduced oil output to around 400,000 barrels per day, a quarter of the amount Libya used to pump before the 2011 uprising which toppled Gadhafi.
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