KABUL (Pajhwok): The afghani rose in value against the US dollar today (Saturday) after an unprecedented depreciation of the local currency last week.
But despite the rise in the afghani’s value, prices of food and other essential items, including fuel, remain high in the nation’s capital.
Haji Hussain, owner of Sadaqat Money Exchange Service in Sara-i-Shahzada Market, told Pajhwok Afghan News one US dollar accounting for 97 afghanis and 1,000 Pakistani rupees for 550 afghanis today.
Last week, one greenback sold for 103afs and 1,000 Pakistani rupees for 520afs, fuelling concerns among businesspeople and consumers.
In the recent days, the local currency hit a new low as one US dollar accounted for 130 afghanis on December 12 when prices of most items shot up.
Although the afghani has staged some recovery, shopkeepers have not yet cut rates of daily-use items. They have refused to share the benefit with consumers.
Petroleum prices up by over 8pc
An employee of the Ahmadyar Group Fuel Station in Kabul told Pajhwok Afghan News the price of a litre of petrol went up from 79afs to 92afs and the same quantity of diesel increased from 73afs to 75afs.
Mohammad Sharif, a dealer in Kalola Pushta area, also said the price of a kilogram of liquefied gas had increased from last week’s 84afs to 88afs.
Sugar, cooking oil rates also rise
Zmarai Safi, head of the Kabul Food Traders’ Union, said the wholesale price of a 49-kilogram bag of Indian sugar rose from 3,250 to 3,500afs.
However, he added, the price of a 16 litres of Malaysian cooking oil fell from 2,900afs to 2,850afs. After the appreciation of the dollar, the price of sugar increased and that of cooking oil fell due to high imports.
A 49-kg sack of Kazakhstani flour cost 2,400afs, 24.5 kilograms of Pakistani rice 2,500afs, a kilogram of Indonesian green tea 400afs and the same quantity of African black tea 400afs.
Hamed Sufizadeh, a retailer in Dahn-i-Bagh neighbourhood, said a bag of 49 kilograms Kazakhstani flour cost 2,450afs, a 24-kg of Pakistani rice 2,550afs, a 49-kg bag of Indian sugar 3,550afs, a 16 litres tin of Malaysian cooking oil 2,940afs, a kilogram of Indonesian green tea 450afs and the same quantity of African black tea 450afs.
Gold down by 3.5pc
Mohammad Javed, a jeweler in Kabul’s Lycee Mariam locality, said the rate of one gram of Arabian gold fell from 4,700afs to 4,500afs and the same quantity of the Russian variety from 3,700 to 3,600afs.