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Sudanese Pound devaluation: Domestic airfares, customs duties soar

March 3 - 2021 KHARTOUM / PORT SUDAN
Aircraft of Sudan Air (File photo)
Aircraft of Sudan Air (File photo)

Domestic airfares have increased by more than 100 per cent to all cities in the country, and import duties on goods have also more than doubled after the government devalued the Sudanese Pound (SDG) last week to what had been the parallel market rate against international currencies. The Central Bank of Sudan currently quotes a middle rate of SDG 379 for a US Dollar, while SDG 455.63 buys a Euro.

The price of and air ticket from Khartoum to Nyala, capital of South Darfur has increased from SDG 19,400 to SDG 41,245. A flight from Khartoum to the North Darfur capital of El Fasher now costs SDG 35,250, El Geneina SDG 46,875, and Kassala SDG 27,000. Agency owners told Radio Dabanga that the increases attributable to the new forex rates have been added to by a rise in departure fees from $5 to $15.

A sharp hike in the amounts paid in SDG for import duties is also sure to have a knock-on effect on consumer process once the good reach the market. Reporting from Port Sudan, journalist Amin Sinada told Radio Dabanga that while the duties payable for a container of coffee used to be SDG 1,000, containers landed after the devaluation now cost SDG 2,300 to clear.

Port revenues had declined sharply due to the 2018 decision to charge duties on the container itself instead of including it in the customs value, he said, adding that suppliers had described the decision as ‘illogical’.

Sudan’s Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Jibril Ibrahim, visited Port Sudan yesterday accompanied by Transport Minister Mirghani Mousa and Minister of Livestock, Hafez Abdelnabi. Jibril said he hopes “to solve all the obstacles that have hindered the economy over the past period, and that the movement of containers will flow as before and better”.


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