Forex turnover rose by 78.7%, as the Naira’s exchange rate at the NAFEX window depreciated against the dollar to close at N394.67/$1 during intra-day trading on Wednesday, December 16.

Also, the Naira depreciated marginally against the dollar, closing at N476/$1 at the parallel market on Wednesday, December 16, 2020, as Nigeria’s external reserve falls to $34.851 billion as at December 14, 2020, losing $838 million in about 6 weeks.

This puts further pressure on the country’s external reserve and gradually affects CBN’s capacity to intervene in the foreign exchange market.

Nigeria’s foreign exchange market received a boost with the approval of the $1.5 billion loan request by the World Bank.

Parallel market: According to information from Abokifx – a prominent FX tracking website, at the black market where forex is traded unofficially, the Naira remained stable against the dollar to close at N476/$1 on Wednesday.

This represents a N1 drop when compared to the N475/$1 that it exchanged for on Tuesday, December 15.

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  • The local currency had strengthened by about 7.8% within one week in September at the black market, as the CBN introduced some measures targeted at exporters and importers.
  • This is to boost the supply of dollars in the foreign exchange market and reduce the high demand for forex by traders
  • However, the gains appear to have been completely erased with the recent crash of the exchange rate.
  • The CBN has sold over $1 billion to BDCs since they resumed forex sales on Monday, September 7, 2020.
  • This was expected to inject more liquidity into the retail end of the foreign exchange market and discourage hoarding and speculation.
  • However, the exchange rate against the dollar has remained volatile after the initial gains made, following the CBN’s resumption of sales of dollars to the BDCs.
  • Despite the CBN intervention, the huge demand backlog by manufacturers and foreign investors still puts pressure and creates a volatile situation in the foreign exchange market.

NAFEX: The Naira depreciated against the dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window on Wednesday, closing at N394.67/$1.

  • This represents a 67 kobo drop when compared to the N475/$1 that it exchanged for on Tuesday, December 15
  • The opening indicative rate was N392.73 to a dollar on Wednesday. This represents a 5 kobo gain when compared to the N392.78 that was recorded on Tuesday.
  • The N407.68 to a dollar was the highest rate during intra-day trading before, it still closed at N394.67 to a dollar. It also sold for as low as N388/$1 during intra-day trading.
  • Forex turnover: Forex turnover at the Investor and Exporters (I&E) window increased by 78.7% on Wednesday, December 16, 2020.
  • According to the data tracked by Nairametricsfrom FMDQ, forex turnover rose from $112.08 million on Tuesday, December 15, 2020, to $200.34 million on Wednesday, December 16, 2020.
  • The CBN is still struggling to clear the backlog of foreign exchange demand, especially by foreign investors wishing to repatriate their funds.
  • The rise in dollar supply after the previous trading day’s drop reinforces the volatility of the foreign exchange market. The supply of dollars has been on a decline for months due to low oil prices and the absence of foreign capital inflow into the country.
  • The average daily forex sale for last week was about $169.93 million, which represents a huge increase from the $34.5 million that was recorded the previous week.
  • Total forex trading at the NAFEX window in the month of September was about $1.98 billion, compared to $843.97 million in August.
  • The exchange rate is still being affected by low oil prices, dollar scarcity, a backlog of forex demand, and a shaky economy that has been hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Some members of MPC of the CBN had expressed serious concerns over the increasing demand pressure in the country’s foreign exchange market. This is an obligation of manufacturers to their foreign suppliers that continues to increase in the face of dollar shortages.