By Alois Vinga
THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) official exchange rate has remained stable amid rising allotments to support production at the auction platform system.
An update released by the central bank at the close of trading at the auction shows that a total of US$31.7 million was allotted towards industrial productivity to both the Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and the Main auction platforms.
The official exchange rate continued to maintain stability at $81.67 per every US$1 traded on the platform, a premium that has remained static for over a month now.
The main auction received 268 bids, disqualified 20 bids, and accepted 248 bids with a total of US$29.9 million worth of bids being allotted on the main auction.
Out of the total US$12.5 million was allotted towards raw materials with US$4.6 million going towards machinery and equipment, consumables US$2.6 million, services US$2.6 million, retail and distribution US$2.1 million.
Fuel, electricity, and gas were allotted US$3 million, pharmaceuticals and chemicals US$1.5 million paper and packaging US$627 000.
The SME segment received 152 bids with nine being disqualified and a total of 143 bids being accepted.
The total value of bids received amounted to US$1.8 million with the highest bidding rate reaching $85 and a low of $80.
Raw materials on the platform reached US$413 000, machinery and equipment US$377 000, consumables US$556 000, services US$160 000, retail and distribution US$100 000, fuel US$39 000 among other priority allotments.
The stability in the exchange rate has hailed by the industry with several companies confirming economic stability which was last experienced years back.
Last week, cement producer Lafarge said sales volumes witnessed during the quarter had broken a 17-year record amid confirmation of collecting enough US$ revenue to meet the entity’s foreign currency needs.
Olivine Industries also acknowledged that the stable exchange rates had brought about predictability and confidence necessary for conducting business.
However, some companies continue to express concerns that most of the suppliers are still pegging the premium at US$1 against $125 in clear defiance of the official rate, a development that calls for urgent policy interventions.