KARACHI: Pakistani rupee continued setting new lows against the US dollar in the inter-bank for the third straight day and depreciated to new all-time low of 170.48 against the greenback on Wednesday.
According to the State Bank of Pakistan, the local unit depreciated by 51 paisas (-0.30 percent) against the greenback, as the US dollar opened at Rs169.97 and closed at Rs170.48. Within the open market, the rupee was traded at Rs170.50/172 per dollar.
The Pakistani rupee shed Rs1.40 during the last three days against the US dollar, while depreciation during the fiscal year 2021-22 has been Rs13.06. The local unit has shed Rs10.21 against the US dollar in the current year 2021. The local currency has maintained a downtrend after it touched 22-month high of Rs152.27 in May 2021, losing a cumulative Rs18.17 in the past four months to date.
Earlier, the rupee made a historic low of Rs169.60 on Monday last and Rs169.12 on September 15, 2021 against the US dollar. Later, this depreciation deteriorated to Rs169.97 on Tuesday last.
According to currency dealers, higher external payments put pressure on the dollar’s demand. They said the hike in the international oil and food prices remained one of the major reasons for the rupee depreciation. They said that widening of trade deficit and the current account deficit also deteriorated the market sentiments. They said that import payment hit a historic high of around $6.4 billion in August while the previous peak was recorded in June at $6.3 billion. On the flipside, export earnings have remained sluggish at around $2.2 billion a month during the same months.
The dealers said due to the quarter ending, the dollar’s demand from the corporate sector was also high. The foreign corporate entities operating in Pakistan send their profit and dividends to their parent companies abroad by the quarter-end. The currency dealers said high current account and trade deficits would keep the pressure on rupee in the coming days.
The latest measures taken by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to support the balance of payments position also failed to prevent the fall in the rupee value. The central bank on September 23, 2021 revised the regulations related to consumer financing and prohibited financing for imported vehicles. – TLTP