Importers and Exporters Association warn of looming food shortages over withdrawal of FX support

The Importers and Exporters Association has warned of impending food shortages and a further surge in food inflation in the coming days as a result of the withdrawal of FX support.

The warning follows the Bank of Ghana’s declaration that it would no longer provide foreign exchange for the importation of certain goods, as instructed by President Akufo-Addo in his Address to the Nation on the Economy on Sunday, October 30, 2022.

The Central Bank informed commercial banks in a message that: “in accordance with the president’s directive, issued in his recent address to the nation on the Ghanaian economy on Sunday 30 October 2022, the Bank of Ghana will no longer provide FX support for the imports of rice, poultry, vegetable oils, toothpicks, pasta, fruit juice, bottled water, ceramic tiles, and other non-critical goods.”

The Importers and Exporters Association cautions that if the regulation is put into effect, it will have disastrous effects on the nation’s ability to deliver food and other necessities.

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See Also: BoG Withdraws Foreign Exchange Support For Some importations

Samson Asaki Awingobit, Executive Secretary of the Importers and Exporters Association, said that Ghana currently lacks the competence to follow the regulation without experiencing shortages.

“I can tell you that within the shortest possible time, we will see an uprise in prices of these commodities [rice, poultry, vegetable oils, toothpicks, pasta, fruit juice, bottled water, ceramic tiles] especially if the Bank of Ghana goes ahead to implement this policy to the latter.”

He elaborated that “what it means is that those who have these stocks in their warehouses, they will hoard them and by January, we will begin to see some shortages because the Commercial Bank will not have the forex to satisfy the market and so if the Bank of Ghana will not come in to help them, what it means is that only a few people will be able to raise these monies to go and bring these things.”

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