March 27, 2019 (KHARTOUM) The U.S. dollar price on Wednesday hit an all-time high on the black market as the Sudanese pound declined to 86,00 per dollar.
Traders speaking to Sudan Tribune Wednesday in central Khartoum said the purchase price of the U.S. dollar through checks has reached 86,00 pounds while the cash purchase was 69,00 pounds.
It is noteworthy that due to the lack of liquidity in the banks, U.S. dollar carries two prices on the black market. The purchase price through checks is usually higher than the cash price.
Economic conditions in Sudan have been challenging since the secession of South Sudan in 2011 and the loss of the bulk of oil production and exports.
The withdrawal of South Sudan oil has compounded the difficult external environment, including debt arrears, limited access to external financing, U.S. sanctions, and the withdrawal of correspondent bank relations.
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).
Last October, the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS) formed a body of bankers and exchange bureaus under the name of Money Market Makers to set the official exchange rate on a daily basis.
The move was part of a package of financial and monetary measures designed to tackle the deepening economic crisis in the east African nation.
However, the CBoS on Wednesday decided to freeze the work of the Money Market Makers as it failed to curb the rise in dollar price.
Since 19 December, anti-government protests have rocked several cities and towns in Sudan.
The protests started over the rising costs of bread and fuel, but have since widened to call for the overthrow of longtime President Omer al-Bashir.