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Currencies

Naira falls at NAFEX window as lower dollar supply piles more pressure on forex market

The exchange rate between the naira and the dollar depreciated substantially closing at N397.63/$1 at the NAFEX window.

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Dollar, Exchange rate, FOREX, NAFEX market turnover drop by 59%, Naira crashes to N470/$1 as currency uncertainty worsens 

On February 4, 2021, the exchange rate between the naira and the dollar depreciated substantially closing at N397.63/$1 at the NAFEX (I&E Window) where forex is traded officially.

This is as dollar supply dropped by 9.3% as demand piles more pressure on the foreign exchange market.

Also, the exchange rate at the black market where forex is traded unofficially maintained its stability at N480/$1. The exchange rate at the parallel market closed at N480/$1 on the previous trading day of February 3, 2021.

READ: Naira gains at black market as external reserves improves on higher oil prices

Why Naira is depreciating

  • The weakening of the local currency can be attributed to demand pressure in the foreign exchange market as increased business activities put pressure on the greenback.
  • The threat by the CBN to bar exporters who do not repatriate their dollars by January 31, from receiving banking services has failed to stop the weakening of the naira, according to Bloomberg.
  • Manufacturers in Nigeria in a report, have listed difficulty in having access to foreign exchange to pay for their imports as the biggest challenge they face.
  • The CBN is seeking to avoid another round of devaluation with the implementation of policies to help conserve the scarce forex and deepen the foreign exchange market.

READ: Dangote $2.5 billion fertilizer plant to commence operations in Q1 2021

The exchange rate disparity between the parallel market and the official market is about N82.37, representing a 20.7% devaluation differential.

To streamline forex supply and ensure there is enough to meet rising demand, the CBN moved to ensure strict monetary control of the forex market threatening to expel exporters who refuse to remit foreign exchange proceeds in the NAFEX market. It also warned against paying diaspora remittances in naira. 

The CBN may have also confirmed the forex pressures businesses are facing in its monetary policy communique of January 26, 2020, when it cited it as a reason for the weak purchasing managers index.

“This weak performance was attributed to the resurgence of the pandemic, foreign exchange pressures, increased costs of production, a general increase in prices and decline in economic activities.”

READ: NNPC, only Nigerian company to cut losses by N800 billion in one financial year – GMD

Trading at the official NAFEX window

The Naira depreciated against the dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window on Thursday, closing at N397.63/$1. This represents a N2.13 drop when compared to the N395.50/$1 that it closed on the previous trading day.

  • The opening indicative rate closed at N395.38 to a dollar on Thursday. This represents a 13 kobo drop when compared to N395.25 to a dollar that was recorded the previous trading day on Wednesday, February 3, 2021.
  • The N399.50 to a dollar was the highest rate during intra-day trading before it closed at N397.63 to a dollar. It also sold for as low as N390/$1 during intra-day trading.
  • Forex turnover at the Investor and Exporters (I&E) window dropped by 9.3% on Thursday, February 4, 2021.
  • According to the data tracked by Nairametrics from FMDQ, forex turnover declined from $52.59 million on Wednesday, February 3, 2021, to $47.72 million on Thursday, February 4, 2021.

READ: Naira falls to N480/$1 at black market as CBN recognizes forex pressures is weakening the economy

Oil price steady rise

Brent crude oil price hit about $59.23, highest in more than a year, on Thursday morning, as it approaches the $60-dollar mark. This is as OPEC and its allies pledged to continue to cut down on global crude oil inventories and crude stockpiles in the United States fell to their lowest levels since March last year.

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The rise in oil prices is also aided by expectations that production curbs by OPEC+ would tighten the market in the first quarter.

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OPEC oil output has risen for a seventh month in January after the group and its allies agreed to ease record supply cuts further, although an involuntary drop in Nigeria’s exports has limited the increase.

READ: Nigeria’s oil Minister, Timipre Sylva, appointed Special Envoy by OPEC’s JMMC

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  • OPEC and its allies agreed to pump more oil from January 1 and get back to output curb again in February amid fears of a slow demand recovery. This latest supply pact has helped oil to an over 1 year high of above $58 a barrel this year.
  • Nigeria needs oil prices to stay above $50 to balance its budget and improve on its 2021 revenue projection of N7.99 trillion for the year.
  • Nigeria’s 2021 budget includes a target crude oil benchmark price of $40/barrel and crude oil production of 1.86 million barrels per day.
  • Nigeria has a production capacity of 2.5 million barrels per day but is subject to OPEC’s crude oil production cuts, which are expected to help sustain higher oil prices.
  • The higher oil prices and steady production output have positively impacted Nigeria’s external reserves, rising sharply to $36.395 million according to central bank data dated January 27, 2021.
  • This is a sign that higher oil prices and steady output levels may be contributing significantly to Nigeria’s foreign exchange position.

READ: Nigeria’s forex devaluation timeline – 2020

Higher oil prices drive up Nigeria’s external reserves

  • The external reserve has dropped further to $36.198 billion as of February 1, 2021. However, this is a huge improvement on the $35.373 billion that it was as of December 31, 2020.c
  • Nairametrics had earlier reported that the government may have taken receipt of the $1-1.5 billion World Bank loan. However, excerpts of the CBN Monetary Policy communique of January 26th suggest the inflows may have been driven by higher oil revenues.
  • The external reserves have increased by over $800 million since December 31, 2020, when it closed the year at $35.3 billion.
  • Nigeria also needs the external reserves to hit $40 billion if it is to adequately meet some of the pent up demand that has piled up since 2020 when oil prices crashed and the pandemic caused major economic lockdowns.

Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]

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Currencies

Exchange rate weakens at NAFEX window as oil price hit $67

Naira lost 20 kobo against the US Dollar on Wednesday to close at N408.8/$1 at the NAFEX window, while oil price hit $67 per barrel

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Forex, Nafex, parallel market, exchange rate, Naira, Dollar

Wednesday 24th February 2021: The exchange rate between the Naira and the US Dollar closed at N408.8 to a dollar at the Investors and Exporters window where forex is traded officially.

Naira lost 20 kobo against the US Dollar to close at N408.8/$1 at the NAFEX window, which represents a 0.05% decline compared to N408.6/$1 recorded on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the exchange rate remained stable in the parallel market, as it closed at N480/$1 on Wednesday, the same as recorded on the previous trading day.

Brent Crude oil appreciated on Wednesday to close above $67 per barrel, which is only less than $3 from the predicted $70 per barrel made by Goldman Sach earlier in the week.

Trading at the official NAFEX window

Naira depreciated marginally against the US Dollar in the Investors and Exporters window on Wednesday, as it closed at N408.8/$1. This represents a 0.05% loss when compared to N408.6/$1 recorded a day earlier.

  • The opening indicative rate closed at N409.5 to a dollar on Wednesday. This is the same as recorded on Tuesday and is the highest recorded since January 5th, 2021.
  • Also, an exchange rate of N429.75 to a dollar was the highest rate during intra-day trading before it closed at N408.8/$1. It also sold for as low as N390/$1 during intra-day trading.
  • Forex turnover at the Investor and Exporters (I&E) window increased by 72.2% on Wednesday, February 24, 2021.
  • According to the data tracked by Nairametrics from FMDQ, forex turnover increased from $123.37 million recorded on Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021, to $212.43 million on Wednesday, February 24th, 2021.
  • A cursory look at the data shows that Wednesday’s figure of $212.43 million is the highest turnover recorded since 14th January 2021, over a month ago.

Cryptocurrency watch

The world’s flagship crypto, bitcoin recovered partly from its precarious fall on Wednesday, after U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Elon Musk weighed in on Bitcoin’s recent rally.

  • Bitcoin, which at one point lost about $13,000 in value after dropping from its all-time high of $58,330.57 to $45,290.59 within the space of two days.
  • On Wednesday, Bitcoin traded at $49,486.36 as it solidifies its position as the most valuable crypto asset with a market value of $922.3 billion.
  • Meanwhile, major financial leaders have supported the bias of the Central Bank of Nigeria in placing a ban on crypto-related transactions.
  • They warn investors and the public of the dangers of owning bitcoin, as they also stated that the popular crypto asset could be ideal for money laundering and illicit transactions

Oil prices hit $67

Brent crude oil price rose by 2.89% on Wednesday to close at $67.26 compared to $65.37 recorded on Tuesday 23rd February 2021.

  • The increase in price is as a result of Goldman Sach’s prediction that oil prices would climb around $70 per barrel in the second quarter of the year and $75 in Q3 2021. This is $10 above its previous forecasts.
  • According to a report, the increase in oil prices could also be attributed to the restoration of around 80% of lost production after the Texas freeze that had reduced oil supply in recent weeks.
  • Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia and Russia are heading to the OPEC+ meeting next week with varying opinions on whether to add more supply to the market in April, which could shape the performance of the oil market.
  • However, Brent closed at $67.26 (+2.89%), WTI closed at $63.22 (+2.51%), Bonny Light at $63.73 (+1.43%), OPEC Basket ($63.73), and Natural Gas closed at $2.854 (-0.87%).

Dwindling external reserve despite increased oil price

Nigeria’s external reserve dipped marginally by 0.14% on Tuesday 23rd of February 2021, to stand at $35.23 billion.

  • Nigeria’s external reserve position has now hit its lowest level in almost two months.
  • It is worth noting that Nigeria has lost a sum of $1.08 billion in external reserve in February alone.
  • This downturn has continued to persist despite bullish trends in the global crude oil market.

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Currencies

Naira gains at NAFEX window as external reserve plunges $1.1 billion in less than a month

Naira appreciated against the US Dollar at the Investors and Exporters window on Tuesday.

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Naira stabilizes at black market as CBN continues its intervention in forex market

Tuesday 23rd February 2021: The exchange rate between the Naira and the US Dollar closed at N408.6/$1 at the Investors and Exporters window.

Naira gained N1.4 against the US Dollar to close at N408.6 to a dollar at the NAFEX window, which represents a 0.34% gain compared to N410/$1 recorded on Monday.

Meanwhile, the exchange rate remained stable in the parallel market, as it closed at N480/$1 on Tuesday, the same as recorded on the previous trading day.

READ: Naira will “suffer further devaluation” – MTEF

Trading at the official NAFEX window

Naira appreciated against the US Dollar at the Investors and Exporters window on Tuesday, as it closed at N408.6/$1. This represents a 0.34% gain when compared to N410/$1 recorded a day earlier.

  • The opening indicative rate closed at N409.5 to a dollar on Tuesday. This represents a N1.46 drop when compared to N409.5 to a dollar that was recorded the previous trading day on Monday, February 22, 2021.
  • Also, an exchange rate of N429.75 to a dollar was the highest rate during intra-day trading before it closed at N408.6/$1. It also sold for as low as N388.75/$1 during intra-day trading.
  • Forex turnover at the Investor and Exporters (I&E) window increased by 134.6% on Tuesday, February 23, 2021.
  • According to the data tracked by Nairametrics from FMDQ, forex turnover increased from $52.58 million recorded on Monday, February 22, 2021, to $423.37 million on Tuesday, February 23, 2021.
  • A cursory look at the data shows that Tuesday’s figure of $123.37 million is the highest turnover recorded since 14th January 2021, over a month ago.

READ: Nigeria’s external reserve drop by $261 million in 15 days, oil firms to sell forex to CBN 

Cryptocurrency watch

The crypto market lost significantly today, Tuesday 23rd February 2021, as selling pressure pushed the value of crypto assets lower amid sudden panic among retail and institutional traders.

  • Specifically, bitcoin lost about 13.14% to stand at $47,055 on Tuesday as at 8:11 pm, indicating a decline of over $7,000 in a single day.
  • This extends a sharp withdrawal from a record high, that it hit on Sunday, although Bitcoin remains up about 75% year to date.
  • Also, Ethereum dipped by 15.72%, while XRP recorded a 16.93% decline on Tuesday.
  • Meanwhile, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele appeared before the Senate on Tuesday to defend the ban placed on cryptocurrency transactions in the country.
  • He briefed the national assembly on the opportunities and threats associated with cryptocurrency and how it affects the nation’s economy and security.

READ: Nigerian stocks record gains, investors gain N132.8 billion

Oil prices rise amid OPEC+ meeting in March

Brent crude oil price rose by 0.61% on Tuesday to close at $65.64 compared to $64.63 recorded on Monday 22nd February 2021.

  • The price increase came after Goldman Sach forecasted that oil prices would climb around $70 per barrel in the second quarter of the year and $75 in Q3 2021. This is $10 above its previous forecasts.
  • The bank also stated that consumption will return to pre-virus levels by late July, while output from major producers will remain “highly inelastic” to the rising prices.
  • Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia and Russia are heading to the OPEC+ meeting next week with varying opinions on whether to add more supply to the market in April, which could shape the performance of the oil market.
  • However, Brent closed at $65.47 (+0.35%), WTI closed at $61.74 (+0.06%), Bonny Light at $62.83 (+1.19%), OPEC Basket ($62), and Natural Gas closed at $2.882 (-2.4%).

Nigeria lost over $1.1 billion in external reserves position

Nigeria’s external reserve dipped by 0.41% on Monday 22nd of February 2021, to stand at $35.28 billion.

  • This represents a decline of $145.9 million in foreign reserve, the highest single-day loss since April 2020.
  • Nigeria’s external reserve position has now hit its lowest level in almost two months, losing over $1.1 billion in less than a month.
  • This downturn has continued to persist despite bullish trends in the global crude oil market. However, Nigeria will need to boost its external reserve to hit $40 billion, as this will help meet some of the pent-up demand that has piled up as a result of the crash in global oil prices in 2020.

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