The market value of the US dollar has been increased in recent weeks. This is due to the shortage of dollar supply in the market as the COVID-19 impacts the Maldives economy.
Tourism was the major source of US dollar supply to the Maldives. However, the tourism industry experienced an immediate fall due to the spread of COVID-19, and this has caused a sudden rise in the market value of the dollar.
Even though the fixed rate of the dollar in the Maldives is MVR15.42, in the black-market dollar prices have always been above the fixed rate. The rise in the price of the dollar is expected to bring an increase in the prices of imports as well.
The owner of a garment shop in Hulumale’ told that ” it is exhausting to get the US dollar and he recently bought USD 1000 at the rate of MVR.17.50 per USD.”
Another businessman involving in import business stated that “we are struggling to obtain dollars as we had to buy from banks and they have a daily quota and limited opening hours.” As we require large amounts, we have to approach people who sell dollars, prior to purchasing the US dollar from resorts staff. However, all the resorts are closed and unable to get dollars” he said.
Businessmen are willing to pay a hefty amount to purchase dollars, but there is a scarce supply of dollars in the market.