August 3, 2015
Volume 1 January 2015
The Naira/Dollar exchange rate remained unchanged at ?199/$ in the official market but depreciated from ?263/$ to $267 at the Bureau De Change (BDC) market segment this week. As the naira depreciates, the CBN forex restriction measures continue to widen the gap between the official rate and BDC, which has led to increased calls for naira devaluation. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Business owners are among the major advocates for a relaxation of the forex restrictions set by the CBN, in order to enhance the level of economic activities.
Crude oil price increased, in the week under review, to its highest price in 2016. Nigerias bonny light increased by $1.38 from $48.02 per barrel on May 20, 2016 to $49.64 per barrel on May 27, 2016, while Brent crude was sold for $50 per barrel on May 26, 2016. The catalyst for price gains in the period under review is the supply-side contractions, with unplanned production shortages in Nigeria, Canada and Iraq. The upward trend of prices may unlock more supplies in subsequent weeks, but the OPEC meeting scheduled for June 2, 2016, could moderate the effect. Nigeria is expected to benefit from crude oil price rising above the $38 per barrel benchmark. Unfortunately, supply disruptions continue to negatively affect oil revenue and may have contributed to the depletion of external reserve by over $153 millionthis week. The federal government, in collaboration with relevant security agencies, should find a lasting solution to the vandalism of oil pipelines and production facilities.