The price of the US dollar has shot up to 5,500 pounds in Sudan’s black market after the country’s banking authorities failed on Tuesday to supply Forex bureaus with enough hard currency to cover rising demands.
Banks and Forex bureaus in Sudan are only allowed to sell a limited amount of hard currency to individuals and only if they can provide a valid justification including travel for medical treatment or studying abroad.
Last month the Central Bank of Sudan (CBS) authorized Forex offices to buy and sell currency using their own exchange rate as opposed to the official one in an attempt to curb the flourishing black market and attract transfers by Sudanese expatriates abroad.
CBS officials also indicated that restrictions on the amounts of hard currency that travelers abroad are allowed to carry will be eased.
However, Forex bureaus in the capital Khartoum were overcrowded on Tuesday by citizens seeking hard currency.
According to the deputy chairman of the Forex Bureaus Union, Abdel Al-Moniem Nur Al-Deen, the occurrence was caused by the fact that the CBS was “late” to give Forex bureaus their allotted amounts of hard currency.
Abdel Al-Moniem further said that the over-crowdedness forced some Forex bureaus to give citizens less amounts of hard currency than what they are allowed to take. He added that most people had to accept the reduced amounts under the circumstances.
But a black market trader speaking to Sudan Tribune on the condition of anonymity indicated that the situation is actually worse than what the authorities are saying.
He said that even the black market witnessed a near-total unavailability of US dollars on Tuesday.
“Even us in the black market are struggling to find dollars” he said.
He revealed that the price of the dollar had gone up to 5,500 in the black market as a result. He further said he expects the price to hit 6000 in the current month.
The US dollar already trades for twice the official rate of 2.7 Sudanese pounds in the black market despite multiple interventions by the central bank to inject hard currency.
Since the secession of oil-rich South Sudan, Sudan has struggled to contain the deteriorating value of its own currency as the flow of hard currency was sharply curtailed.