Sudan currency hits new black-market low against dollar: traders

Khartoum (AFP) - The Sudanese pound has hit a new low against the US dollar on the black market because of a shortage of foreign currency in the country's markets, traders said Monday.

They said the dollar was selling at 10 pounds for the first time, down from 9.5 last week.

Sudan's economy suffered when South Sudan gained independence in 2011, with the country losing nearly three quarters of its oil resources.

"Since yesterday (Sunday), the price of the dollar against the pound leapt from 9.6 pounds to one dollar to 10 pounds to the dollar, the first time this has happened," said one trader, asking not to be named.

"There is great demand to buy dollars and a scarcity in supply" of foreign currency.

Another black market trader said the dollar had been stable "for a long time" before Monday's rise.

"I expect more rises because of the low supply (of dollars) on the market," he said.

The official exchange rate is one dollar against 6.1 Sudanese pounds.

Last Wednesday, Khartoum said Saudi Arabia had deposited $1 billion in its central bank, although Riyadh has yet to comment.

Sudan's economy has suffered the loss of its oil resources over the past four years, on top of a biting US trade embargo since 1997.