Butane shortage escalates in provinces

Hundreds of people protested in the Middle Egyptian city of Minya Sunday due to ongoing shortages of butane cylinders, which have pushed the going price of one cylinder up to LE14. The shortage has prompted Minya’s municipal council to call for tightened control of butane distribution to prevent the gas from being sold on the black market.

In Luxor, the price of one cylinder hit LE15, which also resulted in public protests. Some injuries were reported after people fought with one another over limited butane supplies. "The factory south of the city has halted production for an entire week," complained Luxor Supply Ministry Undersecretary Mubarak Abdel Rahman.

Similar protests took place in Alexandria, where cylinder prices have likewise reached LE15. "Distributors have exploited the shortage to raise prices," said frustrated consumer Mohamed Metawe.

Head of petroleum products at the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce Salah Abdel Al said 65,000 cylinders had thus far been allocated for the coastal city. "The new factory in nearby Matrouh will also help resolve the crisis," he said.

In Monufiya, workers at a butane distribution facility were caught filling cylinders with less gas than the amount stipulated by the Supply Ministry.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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