By Alois Vinga
THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) official exchange rate has reached ZW$403,40 against the greenback in a development experts believe to be prompted by market forces.
A trading update released at the close of business Tuesday shows that this week’s exchange rate declined by 3,03% from last week’s rate of ZW$391,53.
Market watchers believe that the current movement in the official exchange rates is a reflection of market forces determining the developments following the commitment by the government to leave traders on the platform to dictate the rates in line with affordability.
Records show that in the first week of July 2022, the exchange rates stood at US$1 : ZW$ 379 which has swiftly deteriorated since then.
However, in comparison, the parallel market exchange rates are still way above the official rate, hovering between ZW$700 to ZW$800 against the greenback with speculation and forward pricing by businesses and individuals being the major driving factors.
In a bid to curb such indiscipline, the RBZ has instituted a number of measures which include the increase of lending rates , mopping up of excess liquidity and engaging stakeholders to dissuade such behaviour where possible.
“Meanwhile, the number of bids accepted on the Main Auction was 206, with the amount allotted standing at US$19,1 million. The highest bid received ZW$442 and a low of ZW$385,” the trading update said.
Allotments maintained priority towards revamping productivity with raw materials receiving US$10 million, machinery and equipment US$3,8 million, consumables US$1 million, services US$1,6 million , retail and distribution US$1,1 million, pharmaceuticals US$477 217, paper and packaging US$749 560 among others.
A similar trend was maintained on the Small to Medium Enterprises Auction where raw materials received US$1,1 million , machinery and equipment US$1,3 million and consumables US$419 958.