By Takaloo, Maungdaw:
The value of the Burmese Kyat has been gradually rising since the beginning of this year in exchange with the Bangladesh Taka on the western border, with the exchange rate on Monday set at 13.00 Kyat per 1.00 Taka, said a Burmese black market exchange agent from Maungdaw on the western Burmese border.
The agent also said that the value of the Kyat in the current exchange rate is the highest recorded in the past six years, during which time it has ranged from between 15.00 and 20.00 Kyat for 1.00 Taka.
"The Kyat has been rising against the Taka gradually since January, and the exchange rate here today is just 13.00 Kyat for 1.00 Taka. It used to rise and fall between 15.00 and 20.00 Kyat per 1.00 Taka and we can say the value of the Kyat with the current rate is the highest ever in our records for the last six years here on the western border," said the agent.
It is difficult explain why the Burmese Kyat has been rising in value against the Bangladesh Taka, as there is no official source for the money exchange on either side of the border and the official rate pegged against the dollar today is 1.00 Burmese Kyat to 10.43 Bangladeshi Taka.
However, the agent said the increase in the Kyat's value in the border markets is probably due to the fact that legal and black market trade across the border is using US Dollars for their payment clearance, and because the Burmese Kyat has been rising in value against the US Dollar since the beginning of this year.
According to local border sources, most Burmese cross-border traders have been relying on black market agents in Singapore and Rangoon for their money transfers and payments for their trade with Bangladesh, and the use of local border agents is declining.
With the rise of the Kyat, the export of Burmese goods and contraband into Bangladesh is slowing and prices of the exported goods have been rising in the Bangladesh border markets.
Burmese timber at the Teknaf Port in Bangladesh are currently priced at 225,000 Taka per one ton of teak, 77,500 Taka per one ton of Champac, and 52,500 Taka per one ton of other low-quality wood such as dipterocarpus alatus.
Other legal and illegal export goods, such as rice, cattle, bamboo, fresh and dry fish, spices, raisins, traditional medicine, cosmetics, clothing, and other items, have risen in price by 15 - 30 percent in the Bangladesh border markets.
6 months ago