The dollar crisis is intensifying in the open market as the interbank value of the US currency also continues to gain.
According to traders, a dollar was being sold up to Tk100 in the open market on Tuesday – up from Tk98.30 on Monday.
"The dollar crisis has turned extreme in the last one week, with the price increasing every day," a dollar seller in the Motijheel open market said on condition of anonymity.
He said the US currency has risen by more than Tk7 in the kerb market over the past week, whereas the dollar price in the interbank market rose only Tk1.30 in the last 20 days.
"We are not getting dollars. I could not buy even one dollar today," the seller said.
He recommended that no one should try to buy dollars now unless it is an emergency.
Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Bank on Monday devalued taka against the US dollar for the third time in two months to stabilise the currency market. The US dollar exchange rate for interbank transactions was revised to Tk87.5 on the day, up by Tk0.80 – the highest devaluation of taka on a day in the country's history.
The Bangladesh Bank on Tuesday sold dollars to banks at a rate of Tk87.50, up from Thursday's Tk86.70. But the banks were selling one dollar at more than Tk91.
A senior official of the Bangladesh Bank said more imports than exports and the rise in remittance inflow are impacting the dollar price.
"In the current global situation, there is no alternative to devaluing taka against the dollar," the officials said, adding that neighbouring countries, including India, are devaluing their currencies too.
Sirajul Islam, spokesperson and executive director of the Bangladesh Bank, told The Business Standard that the central bank does not control the kerb market.
"Those in need of urgent money often collect dollars at higher prices from the open market instead of using banking channels. It does not affect our general population or the economy as a whole," he said.
Sirajul said, "We have fixed the dollar price in the banking channel. We monitor that. Kerb market prices are not affecting our imports and exports. If someone goes to open a letter of credit for import, the dollar price in the kerb market does not affect it.
Forex reserves under pressure
As demand for the dollar rose due to increased imports, the central bank started selling dollars as per the demand, releasing $5.11 billion to banks till 12 May. In FY21, the central bank purchased around $8 billion from banks.
In the meantime, forex reserves are facing pressure because of a rise in imports in post-pandemic times and their higher payments caused by rising product prices in the international market.
The country's reserves, which reached $48 billion in August last year, dropped to $41.93 billion on 11 May.
In July-March of FY22, exports registered about 33% growth, but it could not hold back the trade balance that slid into a deficit of about $25 billion, which was 9% higher than that of the whole previous fiscal year.