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U.S. dollar surges against Sudanese pound

September 1, 2018 (KHARTOUM) Price of the U.S. dollar on Saturday has surged again on the black market settling at $41,00 Sudanese pounds following a short period of decline.

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U.S. dollar notes (Reuters/Athit Perawongmetha Photo)

Last month, the dollar price hit an all-time high on the black market as the Sudanese pound declined to 47,00 per dollar. But the dollar slipped to 38,00 pounds ahead of Eid al-Adha holidays.

Traders speaking to Sudan Tribune Saturday in central Khartoum said the purchase price of the U.S. dollar settled at 41,00 pounds.

They pointed to short supply and high demand for the dollar, expecting dollar price to increase during the next period.

Following an unprecedented increase in dollar price, the Sudanese authorities in November 2017 introduced new measures allowing for10-year prison term for anyone caught trading on foreign currency outside the banking system or approved institutions.

In February, the dollar price hit an all-time high on the black market as the Sudanese pound (SDG) declined to 42,00 per dollar. However, the dollar price declined after the crackdown on the Forex traders and stood at 32,00 for several weeks.

The Sudanese pound has lost more than 100% of its value since South Sudan’s secession in 2011, pushing inflation rates to record levels given that the East African nation imports most of its food.

In rare statements last July, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning acknowledged an acute shortage of foreign exchange saying it has aggravated the economic crisis.

The State Minister of Finance Tarig Shalabi said his ministry would apply new measures to address the shortage in Forex including to cut import of non-essential goods.

He also called for controlling government expenditure and increase exports, calling for the need to reform government institutions in order to effectively manage the economy.

The most recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) report indicated that Sudan’s gross international reserves remained very low in 2017 ($1.1 billion, 1¾ months of imports).

(ST)