KARACHI: The US dollar has gained Rs 1.02 during the last two trading sessions against the Pakistani Rupee in the interbank market owing to an increase in food and machinery imports.

The US dollar closed at Rs 158.53 in the interbank today — after it gained 32 paisas — compared to the previous closing of Rs 158.19.

A banker of a treasury branch of a government bank said: “The demand of greenback enhanced in the interbank market owing to rising imports while the companies are clearing their dues before June 30 — the end of the fiscal year.”

The demand is coming from the oil companies which are working in Pakistan, importers, and the oil sector. The oil companies are clearing their dues against the import, he added.

According to market sources, there is a dollar shortage in the interbank market following its higher demand while the exports receipts and remittances are low compared to the demand. The dollar may touch Rs 160 in next few days, the sources claimed.

The central bank and the government want to keep US currency in between 153.00-154.00 to support the exporters, but the rising imports of types of machinery and others food products kept the pressure on local currency, market experts claimed.

The market experts said the government has imported sugar, wheat, and others food items worth $7 billion in the last few months to support the local prices. The government also ordered the import of wheat from abroad to build its strategic reserves of food.

Malik Bostan, president of the Pakistan Forex Association, said that exchange companies are selling $5-$6 million to interbank market daily, but the demand of this currency in the interbank market is high.

Meanwhile, the average inflow of dollars through Roshan Digital Accounts (RDA) is around $3 million per day, he added. “Pakistan has so far received $1.35 billion through RDA from 120,000 accounts,” according to the SBP data.

Open currency market experts claimed that there is no demand of the dollar in the kerb market but the dealers are following the interbank market. The dollar is going up but it is temporarily movement and the local currency is still stable in the interbank market.

In the open currency market, the dollar is being traded at Rs 158.80 for buying and Rs 159.00 for selling.


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