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Egypt suffers butane gas shortage

February 5, 2014 at 2:11 am

The butane gas crisis has escalated in Egypt with the price of a barrel ranging between 60 and 70 Egyptian pounds. Egyptians have held the interim government responsible for the high prices and short supply. They are concerned by the approach of winter and noted that it was hard to find gas, even on the black market, and when they did find it, street vendors imposed prices of their choice. Egyptians said that government inspectors were not monitoring the market prices ensuring its access to all beneficiaries.

Mohammed Abdel-Rahman from Assiut said, “The gas warehouses are overcrowded with people who want to purchase gas. People have to wait for hours to buy gas but to no avail. The retailers purchase the gas barrels from the warehouses to sell them at double their price while the street vendors are taking advantage of the crisis to sell the barrel at 60 or even 70 pounds.”

Ahmed Fouad, a resident of Minya said “we cannot find gas anywhere. We are forced to buy it at any price from street vendors. The ministry supplies the warehouses who smuggle the butane gas barrels causing a market shortage.”

Hassan Shoaib, a resident of Dakahlia said “I looked for gas for three days but could not find anything, and then I was forced to use kerosene stoves. That absence of control over distribution warehouses and retailers has given market lords a chance to monopolise the markets and increased the gas prices.”

Mohamed Abdel Rahman, a resident of Giza said the butane crisis was stifling “we looked for days but could not find a single barrel. The warehouses owners smuggle them to street sellers who control the prices and drain people’s money.”