KARACHI: The US dollar gained 90 paisas against the Pakistan Rupee (PKR) on Monday owing to higher demand for foreign currency as the market opened after weekly holidays.
The exchange rate ended at Rs187.53 to the dollar from last Friday’s closing of Rs186.63 in the interbank foreign exchange market.
Currency experts said that the rupee was under pressure during the day due to higher dollar demand for import payments.
They said that the market was opened after two weekly holidays which put pressure on the foreign currency demand.
The rupee hit all-time low at Rs188.18 on April 07, 2022.
Currency experts said that dollar demand was high at market open because of weekly holidays.
The experts said that the rupee was also under pressure after the prices of crude oil rebounded in the international markets.
Pakistan is net importer of petroleum products to meet its domestic demand. The country’s import bill was $14.81 billion during first nine months (July – March) 2021/2022 as compared with $7.55 billion in the corresponding period of the last fiscal year, showing a massive growth of 96 per cent. The oil bill is around 25 per cent of the total import bill of country.
The depleting foreign exchange reserves are also putting pressure on the local currency.
According to details released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the official reserves of the central bank fell by $328 million to $10.558 billion by week ended April 23, 2022 as compared with $10.886 billion a week ago. The net foreign exchange reserves of the SBP also include $3 billion from Saudi Arabia, which was deposited with the central bank to support balance of payment.
The foreign exchange reserves of the country fell to $16.668 billion by week ended April 23, 2022 as compared with $17.045 billion by week ended April 16, 2022.
Pakistan total import bills recorded an increase of 49 per cent to $58.87 billion during the first nine months of the current fiscal year as compared with $39.49 billion in the corresponding period of the last fiscal year.
This resulted in huge widening in trade deficit of 70 per cent. The trade deficit of the country swelled to $35.39 billion during first nine months of the current fiscal year as compared with the deficit of $20.8 billion in the corresponding months of the last fiscal year.