According to the reference rates of the Banky Foiben’i Madagasikara (BFM) exchange rate, the euro was worth 4,685 ariary two weeks ago to reach 4,878 ariary yesterday. The dollar continues the trend but with a less rhythmic pace.
After having regained its stability during the month of May, the local currency lost points against the foreign currencies of reference. The economist Patrick Andriamisata speaks of imbalance as the origin of this situation. During the first three months of the year “the indicators were not in favor of the ariary and the situation remained almost unchanged until May”, estimates the economist. The situation is unfavorable in both directions, “on the one hand, annuity products are finding fewer takers, and for those who have found them, the payments have not yet taken place. On the other hand, imports increase more as the national holiday approaches,” he observes. According to figures from the BFM, exports of goods recorded a decline of 13.4% during the first quarter, due to the decline of the main flagship products such as vanilla, cloves, cobalt and products of free enterprises. . The exported quantity of vanilla fell from 955.1 tons in 2022 to 542 tons in 2023, a decrease of 43.3%, which reduced the value of exported vanilla by 41.1%, at the selling price around $250 per kilogram. Same thing for clove exports. They slowed by 16.3% even though the price improved by 3.9%. Similarly, exports from free enterprises posted a 9.3% drop in volume despite the 7.4% rebound in its price. In addition, cobalt exports contracted both in terms of volume (-33.8%) and price (-50.1%).
Tense world economy
On the import side, purchases of food goods increased by 39.1% and those of capital goods by 2.4%. The total value of imports during the first quarter amounts to 1.2 billion dollars, while those of exports are at 830 million dollars. The latter was more beneficial for nickel, which posted a 30% increase in exports thanks to the 28.2% rise in price. According to the BFM, the global economic situation remains tense, despite the first signs of recovery, particularly following the reopening of the Chinese economy. Global economic performance has been bearish since 2022 but is expected to recover from the second half of 2023. According to IMF estimates, global GDP growth is expected to increase to 2.8% in 2023 from 3.4% in 2022 and 6.0% in 2021.