Dollar hits new high of Rs176.77

KARACHI: Dollar hit a new high of Rs176.77 against the pakistani rupee Friday on the interbank foreign exchange market.

The dollar hit a new high from the last day’s close of Rs176.42, which was the greenback’s previous record.

Traders said the rupee deteriorated further due to the escalating import bill for November 2021 and the deceleration in the country’s official foreign exchange reserves.

The State Bank’s official reserves fell from $ 244 million to $ 16.01 billion in the week ending November 26, 2021, from $ 16.254 billion a week ago. Topline Securities analysts said that with imports of around $ 8 billion in one month, import coverage was reduced to two months from 3.3 months in August 2021.

Official data from Pakistan’s Bureau of Statistics (PBS) released on Thursday, showed the country’s import bill jumped 69.17% to $ 33 billion in the first five months (July-November) 2021/22 , compared to $ 19.47 billion in the corresponding months last fiscal year.

Large imports also sharply widened the trade deficit. The trade deficit in the months under review widened 112 percent to $ 20.59 billion, from a deficit of $ 9.72 billion in the corresponding period last fiscal year.

The country’s exports also grew by 27 percent, but far less than the growth rate of the import bill during the period under review. The country’s exports reached $ 12.34 billion between July and November 2021/22, compared to $ 9.74 billion in the same period last year.

The rupee could fall further next year, according to a poll, as participants see the local unit around Rs180 to Rs185 against the dollar.

The market expected the value of the rupee to recover; following the hike in the key rate and the signing of an agreement between the SBP and the Saudi Development Fund (SDF) for the placement of 3 billion dollars with the State Bank of Pakistan.

However, large imports offset the efforts of the State and Development Bank on the external front.

The rupee has remained under pressure since the start of the current fiscal year. The local currency fell from Rs 19.23, or 12.21%, from June 30, 2021 to the close from Rs 157.54 to the close of Rs 176.77 on December 3, 2021.

In the open market, the buying and selling of the dollar was recorded at Rs177.75 / Rs179.25 at the time of filing this report.

Carol N. Valencia