Pakistan’s total forex reserves inch up to $10.44 billion

Pakistan’s total forex reserves inch up to $10.44 billion

KARACHI: Pakistan’s total foreign exchange reserves inched up by $256 million by week ended January 13, 2023, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said on Thursday.

The foreign exchange reserves of the country increased to $10.444 billion by week ended January 13, 2023 as compared with $10.188 billion a week ago i.e. January 06, 2023.

READ MORE: State Bank’s forex reserves plummet to only $4.34 billion

The country’s foreign exchange reserves hit all-time high of $27.228 billion on August 27, 2021. Since then the foreign exchange reserves have declined by $16.784 billion.

Official foreign exchange reserves of the SBP also increased by $258 million to $4.601 billion by week ended January 13, 2022 as compared with $4.343 billion a week ago.

READ MORE: Pakistan’s total forex reserves further deplete to $11.42 billion

The present level of the official reserves have fallen below one month import cover.

The import bill of the country for the month of December 2022 was recorded at $5.16 billion, according to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). The benchmark foreign exchange reserves of a central bank should be at a level to provide three months import cover.

READ MORE: Pakistan’s official forex reserves fall to alarming level of $5.82 billion

The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank witnessed a record high at $20.146 billion by week ended August 27, 2021. Since then the official reserves of the SBP dropped by $15.545 billion.

The foreign exchange reserves held by commercial banks were remained flat at $5.843 billion by week ended January 13, 2023 as compared with $5.845 billion a week ago.

The critical low level of the foreign exchange reserves may further put pressure on the exchange rate, said analysts at KASB Research.

READ MORE: Pakistan’s official forex reserves plummet to about one month import cover

Plummeting foreign exchange reserves amidst high debt servicing obligations will likely exert considerable pressure on the Pak Rupee (PKR).

As debt servicing exerts additional pressure on the PKR, the analysts believed the currency may depreciate to PKR 265 to the US dollar by end of the current fiscal year, according to the analysts.

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