20 November 2017

Sudan: Traders Close Doors to Avoid Losses As Sudanese Pound Plummets

Photo: Daily News
Cement (file photo).

Khartoum — Pharmaceutical, clothing, and footwear companies, as well as cement and iron traders of El Sagana commercial area south of Khartoum have suspended sales to avoid losses as the Sudanese Pound continues its downward spiral against the US Dollar.

The value of the Sudanese Pound (SDG) against the US Dollar and other currencies in the parallel market has collapsed in an unprecedented manner. Last week the Dollar was trading at SDG 28. El Sagana traders said that the current situation put them out of business once the Dollar reaches SDG 30.

Medicine prices

A number of patients said that the large increases in prices of medicines, especially medicines for chronic diseases, have prompted them to only buy as much medicine as they can afford with the money they have.

A pharmaceutical source said that four out of ten people entering the pharmacy do not have enough money to pay the medicine required.

He explained that the high price of the US Dollar has sparked medicine suppliers to refrain from selling medicine to pharmacies in small quantities.

The pharmaceutical source confirmed that people are reluctant to buy medicines especially that some medicines have surged such as diabetes medicine which has exceeded one million Pounds, prompting people to stop using it like many other medicines.

He pointed out that the continuation of the situation as it is will lead to the exit of a large number of companies from the market which exacerbates the suffering of people and the difficulty of obtaining medicine.

Importers

Importers have stressed that the value of the Pound accompanied by contractionary effects of GDP through the rise in prices of locally produced goods which coincided with the rise in imports.

They have denied the charge that they are the cause of the Dollar rise and pointed out that the government had increased the prices of goods its controls by 500 percent such as fuel, flour and electricity.

The National Chamber of Importers said that the government is about to announce the official price of the customs Dollar at SDG 18 as Minister of Trade Hatim El Sir announced the expected measures for importation and other economic issues.

Economic analyst Hafiz Ismael said that the rise of the custom Dollar to SDG 18 will reflect negatively on the citizen, increase inflation and lead to a rise in prices by 60 per cent, while the purchasing power of the citizen will be low without being able to buy needs which will increase the current slow market buying and selling as well as increasing the inflation. \

Macro economy

Hafiz said that all these factors will affect the macro economy of the country and lead to the spread of the poverty rate already prevalent in the country

Yesterday on the same subject, the Central Bank of Sudan imposed fines on some banks and administrative penalties on employees of the banking system and revoked the licenses of companies operating in the field of buying and exporting gold.

The Central Bank of Sudan said in a press statement that this comes against the background of speculations that took place in the foreign exchange market during the last week.

President Al Bashir will chair a meeting today to discuss exchange rate control measures.

On Tuesday Finance Minister, Mohamed Osman El Rikabi will appear before the Parliament on the economic situation and the devaluation of the Pound against the foreign currencies.

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