Rupee continues setting lows against dollar, plunges to 171.13

Greenback shed Rs0.60 against US dollar, during last three days

KARACHI: Pakistani rupee plummeted to a fresh all-time low of 171.13 against the US dollar on Wednesday, breaching a day earlier low of 171.04, mainly due to surging import bill and Afghan situation.

According to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the rupee shed 9 more paisas (-0.05 percent) as the US dollar opened at Rs171.04 and closed at Rs171.13. In the open market, the rupee was traded at Rs171.20/172.50 per dollar.

The rupee continued to bear the pressure despite a 17 percent year-on-year increase in remittances sent by overseas Pakistanis, which stood at $2.7 billion in September 2021, and higher exports.

Moreover, the administrative measures taken by the government this week, after a series of actions taken by the central bank, to check rupee depreciation also failed to bear fruit.

The fresh all-time low of the local currency can be attributed to the latest reports of massive rise of 65 percent to $18.63 billion in the import bill during the first quarter of the current fiscal year (1QFY22), compared with $11.28 billion in the corresponding period of the last year.

The higher import bill also widened the trade deficit significantly. The trade deficit ballooned by almost 100 per cent to $11.66 billion during the quarter under review, compared with the deficit of $5.81 billion in the same period of the last year.

On the other hand, the Afghan situation has also been impacting the rupee-dollar parity since August 15.

The Pakistani rupee shed Rs0.60 during the last three days against the US dollar, while depreciation during the fiscal year 2021-22 has been Rs13.71. The local unit has shed Rs10.86 against the US dollar in the current year 2021.

The local currency has maintained a downtrend after it touched 22-month high of Rs152.48 in May 2021, losing a cumulative Rs18.82 in the past five months to date.

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