The Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS) last week issued a circular saying that it will set a new indicative US Dollar rate on January 21. From Sunday onwards, the Bank will report the daily rate on its website.
The CBoS called on the banks in the country to adjust the hard currency rates “within the specified ranges of the daily indicative US Dollar rates”.
End 2016, the indicative US Dollar rate was set at SDG 16. In 2017, the official rate appeared fixed at just less than SDG 7 on the website of the CBoS, while the value of the greenback on the black market rate continue to grow. It reached SDG 28 in November.
In early January this year, the Sudanese government raised the customs rate of the US Dollar from SDG 6.7 to SDG 18, in a bid to halt the plummeting of the Pound at the black market. To no avail though, as the Dollar rate increased from SDG 28 to SDG 34.50 in the following two weeks.
Dr Hasan Bashir, Professor of Economics at El Nilein University expects to reach the new indicative Dollar rate to reach 26 Pound, he told Radio Dabanga on Friday.
“The Bank’s decision to raise the indicative rate of the US Dollar confirms the partial floating of the Sudanese pound,” he said. “This, plus the unprecedented increase of the hard currency rates at the black market can only lead to even higher inflation figures.”
According to the economist, “The exchange rate of the Dollar against the Pound can only be stabilised if sufficient amounts of Dollars are systematically injected into the banks in the country. If not, the Dollar rate will soon pass the 50 Pound on the parallel market”.
A listener reported to this station from Kutum in North Darfur that “The prices have caught fire”.
He complained that a 100kg sack of millet is now sold for SDG 1,300 ($185*).
“50 kg sugar costs SDG 1,150 ($163), and a piece of soap SDG 9 ($ 1.30), while I earn a little bit more than SDG 1,000 ($ 142) a month.”
In West Darfur, people pay SDG 1,200 for a 50kg sack of sugar, SDG 35 ($ 5) for a kg of onions, and SDG 10 for a piece of soap.
* Based on the official US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS)