KARACHI: The dollar surged to a fresh record high of Rs177.61 on Thursday in the interbank foreign currency market, traders reported.
The rupee fell owing to the predicted significant current account imbalance and increased dollar demand for import payments.
The rupee lost 18 paisas versus the dollar, finishing at Rs177.61, a new record low.
Dealers noted the absence of strong external news about inflows kept the dollar buying panicky.
Dealers claim the central bank’s efforts to support the local currency have failed.
The Saudi Development Fund (SDF) sent $3 billion to the SBP last week to help Pakistan manage its balance of payments. However, demand for the dollar remained strong this week.
The hefty import bill is putting pressure on the currency.
The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reported that the country’s import bill increased 69.17% to $33 billion in the first five months of fiscal year 2021/22, compared to $19.47 billion in the same period previous year.
Large imports increased the trade imbalance. The trade imbalance for the period under review increased 112% to $20.59 billion, compared to $9.72 billion in the same time previous fiscal year.
To strengthen the rupee, the government may restrict imports. It should take action to restrict imports of non-essential commodities, merchants suggested.
The rupee has been under pressure since the new fiscal year began. The local currency declined Rs20.07 (12.74%) from June 30, 2021 to December 8, 2021.
At 3:15pm PST, the open market dollar price was Rs178.50/Rs180.25.