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CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt, struggling with economic and political turmoil, is increasing custom duties for expensive food items such as shrimps as well as luxury consumer products, local media said on Sunday.
The country has dwindling dollar reserves and a weakening currency, which is driving up the cost of food - a sensitive issue in Egypt where inflation has sparked unrest in the past.
President Mohamed Mursi signed a decree to increase custom duties by up to 40 percent on food items such as shrimps, caviar, pineapples, avocados and melons, the al-Shuruq newspaper said on its website.
Products or industry components which would get exported and then re-imported to Egypt would also be affected, it added.
Duties would also be raised on luxury products such as sun glasses or boats, the al-Masry al-Youm newspaper said on its website.
The papers did not say how much the government planned to raise with the duty increases.
The weak Egyptian pound has pushed up the cost of wheat and other food imports paid for in dollars. The pound has fallen more than 8 percent since the end of last year as concerns deepen about the state of the country, hit by political infighting and unrest.
(Reporting by Sameh Elkhatib and Ulf Laessing; Editing by Stephen Powell)