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US Dollar rate at Sudan’s ‘parallel market’ on the rise again

February 20 - 2017 KHARTOUM
(file photo)
(file photo)

The Khartoum black market rate of the US Dollar rose again on Sunday, after a short drop in late January.

Foreign currency traders at Khartoum’s ‘parallel market’ told this station on Sunday that the US Dollar increased to SDG 17.5-17.7 over the weekend.

They predicted that the dollar rate will continue to rise, at a slow pace that will not exceed half a pound, to reach SDG 18 by the end of this week.

The dollar reached this same rate in November last year, and dropped again in January.

The traders attributed the short-term drop of the dollar rate to the optimism after Washington’s decision to revoke parts of a US trade embargo against Sudan on 13 January, in light of Khartoum’s “positive actions over the past six months”.

Measures

The hard currency rates on Sudan’s black market began to rise rapidly in 2010. In September that year, the Central Bank of Sudan announced that the lack of hard currency, required for the importation of basic commodities such as wheat or medicines was becoming acute. The secession of South Sudan in July 2011, with which Sudan lost two-thirds of its oil revenues, an important source of hard currency, exacerbated the crisis.

As the ongoing shortages of hard currency at the Central Bank of Sudan continued to push the black market rate of the US Dollar upwards last year, Khartoum decided in October on an economic reform programme, which according to President Omar Al Bashir was needed “to avoid the collapse of the country”.

The measures proposed by the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Sudan to curb the fast rise of the US Dollar, included the import of certain types of consumer goods, “in order to reduce the importation bill”

On Sunday, Dr Mohamed Abufatna, Director-general of the Geological Research Institute said in a statement that Sudan is annually importing lime, used for bleaching sugar, for $150 million, despite the availability of lime ores in large quantities in the country.

Investments

The Sudan Media Centre (SMC) reported on Sunday that a delegation of American businessmen and investors will visit Khartoum next month.

Samir Gasem, Secretary of the Strategic Policies and Planning department of the Sudan Employers Union told the SMC that they are discussing a package of financial and trade policies with their counterparts in the USA and Europe to prepare for the complete lifting of the American economic sanctions against the country.


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