The latest unofficial Jan-Apr 2023 data from Afghanistan's customs show that total exports reached "US$ 0.6 billion," the World Bank said, adding that the tally shows a 4 percent rise compared to the same period in 2022.
The World Bank in its report "Afghanistan Economic Monitor May 30, 2023," said that the export growth during January and April 2023 “can primarily be attributed to an increase in the exports of coal by 13 percent (23 percent share) and textiles by 14 percent (14 percent share).”
The majority of our exports were coal, Asafoetida, fruits and agriculture products and handmade products. The countries to which we export a lot are Pakistan, India, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, UAE, China, Iran and Turkey,” said Akhundzada Abdul Salam Jawad, a spokesman for the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.
The report said that the Afghan currency has slightly depreciated against major currencies since mid-April 2023.
“Between April 18 – May 22, 2023, the AFN depreciated by 2.6 percent against the US dollar, 1.6 percent against the Chinese yuan, and 1.3 percent against the Euro,” the World Bank said. “In contrast, AFN appreciated by 2.4 percent against the Pakistani rupee and 5.9 percent against the Iranian toman. On May 22, 2023, the AFN exchange rate against the US dollar stood at 87.5, reflecting a depreciation of only 1.6 percent compared to its value on August 15, 2021. Tight controls on currency export, constrained domestic money supply, and the US$ availability in the domestic market due to United Nations (UN) cash shipments have helped sustain the local currency.”
The World Bank said that from January to May 2023, “~US$ 760 million (~US$ 150 million/month) was flown into the country, in line with the 2022 data (a cumulative ~ US$ 1.8 billion in 2022).”
“The influential monetary policies caused stability in the price of the afghani. Savings and the reduction of government expenses, increases in exports and foreign currencies injected into the market by the Da Afghanistan Bank are the main reasons for the stability of currencies,” said Abdul Rahman Habib, a spokesman for the Ministry of Economy.
According to the report, the inflation in July 2022 was at 18.3 percent and, since then, “has been on a downward trend.”
“According to official statistics, the year-on-year (YoY) headline inflation eased further in March 2023 to 1.94 percent (compared to 3.5 percent in February 2023),” the report said.
“There are many reasons for the stability of the Afghani currencies. First, it is the cash package which the international community sends as part of the humanitarian aid—the packages which arrived in Afghanistan weekly,” said Seyar Qureshi, an economist.
The World Bank said that during the fiscal year 2022 (between March 22, 2022, and March 21, 2023), the total revenue receipts were 193.9 billion Afs (US$ 2.2 billion)— 98 percent of the fiscal year's revised budget target of 198.7 billion Afs. “The trend continues in the first two months of the fiscal year 2023 with the collection of AFN 33 billion, a 21 percent increase over the same period of last year. (the punctuation on this sentence is wrong. Fix it please, or get rid of it.)