The Lebanese Syndicate of Gas Stations Owners announced on Thursday that gas stations are about to run out of gasoline very soon due to the U.S. dollar crisis.
The syndicate said that the Central Bank should secure the exchange of 100 percent of the price of gasoline products from Lebanese pounds to U.S. dollars to enable oil importing companies to pay for their products to suppliers in the U.S. currency, Elnashra, an online independent newspaper, reported.
The syndicate added that this would allow gas stations to pay in Lebanese pounds for oil importing companies and these companies will exchange the Lebanese pounds received by gas stations from the central bank at official exchange rates into U.S. currency.
The central bank has agreed last month to this mechanism, but it was never implemented, according to Fadi Abu Shakra, a consultant for the syndicate of gas station owners.
Gas stations in Lebanon lately reported great financial losses because they are buying fuel from oil importing companies by paying in dollars while they are selling it to clients in Lebanese pounds.
Banks have been reluctant in issuing dollars, causing gas station owners to go to currency exchange offices that have been charging 1,525 or 1,550, and in some cases, 1,600 Lebanese pounds for one dollar, which is higher than the fixed official rate of 1,507.
This has prompted owners of gas stations to stop importing fuel unless their problem is solved.