National, News

SSP gains against USD

By Bida Elly David


Easter festivity has witnessed a significant appreciation of the South Sudanese Pound (SSP) against the United States Dollar, sparking hope among citizens for a decrease in commodity prices.

However, the prospect of this drop appears uncertain and elusive.

Over the past few weeks, the local currency has experienced a decline, exacerbating the already high market prices. The hyperinflationary environment has created a delicate balance between demand and supply, with no clear equilibrium in sight.

The unpredictable and uncontrollable appreciation of foreign currency has left the majority of consumers with little choice but to explore alternative options, considering the opportunity cost involved in their purchasing decisions.

As of last week, $1 traded between SSP 2,500 and SSP 2,700 in the parallel market.

But as of Monday, No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper observed a serious drop in the exchange rate with $1 exchanged between SSP1, 700 and SSP 1,800.

Despite the appreciation of the SSP, there have been no improvements in the commodity market as the prices of essential food items remain high.

Citizens have expressed their disappointment that the recent changes in the dollar rate have had no positive impact on the ongoing price hike.

Joan Bethuel, a consumer in the Gudele two market, stated that her concern is not how the dollar dominates the money market but how the government plays a role in price stability.

“Imagine, the dollar has come down during the Easter holidays with our expectation of prices coming down, but nothing is happening. I just need price stability to rescue us in the current economic situation,” she said.

“For now, whether the dollar rises or not, it is not our concern; we just need price stability, and that is all,” she added.

According to Atem Daniel, a trader in the Libya market, the tentative depreciation of the hard currency might have been triggered due to the recent operation waged against the money speculators in the black market.

Mr. Atem argued that the arrest of the black market money dealers will not remedy the ongoing catastrophe since the country relies on foreign products.

“Last week I was in the customs market, and we witnessed the street money exchangers being flogged and having their currencies confiscated. Doing that is not the only solution to restoring the economy,” he said.

“Imagine that on Monday the rate of the dollar dropped but commodity prices were still high. What impact has it had? Nothing at all,” he stated.

President Kiir, in his Easter message, has directed the economic cluster to immediately work towards resolving the economic crisis.


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