23rd consecutive loss: Rupee falls Rs0.52 against US dollar in interbank

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PKR USD

Islamabad: The Pakistani rupee fell by Rs0.52 against the US dollar in the interbank market on Friday, taking the total number of losing sessions to twenty-three.

At the end of today’s session, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said that the local currency depreciated by Rs0.52 or 0.10% against the greenback to close at Rs229.67.

In a major development, Russian Energy Minister Nikolay Shulginov Friday said that Pakistan will pay for energy purchases from Moscow, when they start in late March, in currencies of friendly countries.

Minister Nikolay Shulginov, who is visiting Pakistan for an annual inter-governmental commission held between Pakistan and Russia, also said that the two countries have agreed on late March as the timeline for crude oil export to Pakistan.

Shulginov also stated that the oil and gas trade between Russia and Pakistan “will be structured in a way that is mutually beneficial for both countries”.

Similarly, the current account deficit of Pakistan (CAD) also dropped by nearly 60% in the first half (July – December) of the current fiscal year (FY23).

According to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), during the period under review, the current account recorded a deficit of $3.667 billion in FY23 compared to $9.09 billion in FY22, showing a decline of $5.42 billion.

Market analysts have said that the federal government’s measures to curtail the rising import have put a positive impact as the current account is continually presenting an improved picture.

Earlier this month, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reported that a massive cut was observed in imports in line with the steps taken by the incumbent government to ease the pressure on import bills during the first six months of FY23. Imports amounted to $31.382 billion during the period, compared to the $40.463 billion that had been recorded during the same period last year.

On a month-on-month basis, however, the current account deficit rose slightly in December to $0.4 billion compared to $0.25 billion recorded in November.

The sharp trend of decline in the current account deficit has been observed despite a fall in remittances inflows, which declined by 11.1% in the first half of FY23 to amount to $14.052 billion compared to $15.807 billion recorded in the same period last year.