Pakistani rupee lost further ground on Wednesday and fell to Rs169.63 in intra-day trading in the inter-bank market.

The fresh decline comes a day after the local currency closed at an all-time low value of Rs168.94, according to the State Bank of Pakistan.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, AA Gold Commodities Director Adnan Agar said that the dismal current account numbers for July 2021, coupled with the anticipation of further worsening of the deficit in August 2021, mounted pressure on rupee.

“Moreover, Pakistan’s imports are rising steeply while exports are growing at a much slower pace hence the country requires higher amount of dollars to pay for inward shipments,” he said.

The analyst added that uncertainty over the Afghanistan situation had increased demand for dollars in the neighbouring country and this factor was also contributing to the fall in rupee.

Agar expected the State Bank of Pakistan to intervene once the rupee reaches Rs171 against the greenback. Moreover, he expected the local currency to trade at Rs174-175 by year-end.

Rupee has maintained downturn since it touched a 22-month high of Rs152.27 in May 2021, losing a cumulative Rs17.36 in the past four months.

To recall, import payments soared to historic high of around $6.4 billion in August. On the flip side, export earnings remained sluggish at around $2.2 billion a month.

The uptrend in international commodity prices suggests that Pakistan’s import bill will remain high in future as well.