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    Morocco’s Finance Minister: Gas Subsidies Reached $2.1 Billion in 2022

    Morocco’s government continued to hike its subsidies for cooking gas to keep the price at MAD 40 ($3.9)

    24 Jan 2023

    Rabat - Morocco’s subsidies for cooking gas reached a staggering MAD 22 billion ($1.2 billion) at the end of 2022, Morocco’s Finance and Economy Minister, Nadia Fettah Alaoui, said on Monday.

    While answering MP’s questions at a parliamentary session, Fettah unveiled that the Moroccan government continued to hike its subsidies for cooking gas to keep the price at MAD 40 ($3.9). Meanwhile, the government currently pays up to MAD 90 ($8.8) per bottle.

    Over the same year, subsidies for wheat – a staple to the Moroccan diet – exceeded MAD 10 billion ($983 million), and subsidies for sugar rose to nearly MAD 5 billion ($491.5 million), the minister further explained.

    In response to the historic rise in food and energy prices, state subsidies for basic commodities reache record levels, weighing down on the country's foreign currency reserves.

    The rise in food prices has especially impacted Morocco as the international price shock coincided with an episode of severe droughtf. As agricultural yield dropped, the country was forced to increase its dependency on grain imports.

    In addition, the North African country remains a net energy importer, sourcing over 90% of its needs from the international market, making it more vulnerable to the ongoing price shock in the energy market.

    The rise in energy and food prices caused Morocco’s trade deficit to reach record levels in 2022. Morocco’s trade deficit soared to 56% at the end of October 2022, negatively affecting the country’s foreign currency reserves.

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