The Biggest Trends in Black Market We've Seen This Year

December 14 2020
The development of the foreign exchange market in Nigeria till its existing state was influenced by a number of variables such as the transforming pattern of worldwide trade, institutional changes in the economic situation as well as structural shifts in production. Before the establishment of the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 1958 as well as the enactment of the Exchange Control Act of 1962, foreign exchange was gained by the private sector and held in equilibriums abroad by commercial banks which functioned as agents for local merchants. Throughout this duration, farming exports added the bulk of foreign exchange invoices. The fact that the Nigerian extra pound was tied to the British extra pound sterling at par, with very easy convertibility, delayed the growth of an energetic foreign exchange market. Nonetheless, with the establishment of the CBN and the succeeding centralisation of forex authority in the Bank, the need to develop a neighborhood foreign exchange market became paramount.

The increased export of crude oil in the early 1970s, adhering to the sharp surge in its costs, enhanced main foreign exchange receipts. The forex market experienced a boom throughout this period and also the administration of foreign exchange resources ended up being essential to guarantee that scarcities did not occur. Nonetheless, it was not up until 1982 that thorough exchange controls were applied as a result of the forex dilemma that embedded in that year. The increasing need for forex at a time when the supply was shrinking encouraged the growth of a prospering black market for foreign exchange.

The exchange control system was incapable to progress an ideal system for foreign exchange allocation according to the objective of interior equilibrium. Bureaux de Modification were accredited in 1989 to accord accessibility to tiny users of foreign exchange and increase the size of the officially acknowledged foreign exchange market. Exchange rates in the Bureaux de Modification are market identified. A black market for forex has remained in existence considering that the exchange control era. It has actually been developed that scarcity in the main field as well as bureaucratic procedures required the growth and development of the black (parallel) market.

Black market exchange rate is known as an exchange rate for a currency that varies from the official exchange rate established by a federal government. The black market currency exchange rate takes place when the main rate bears little or no relationship to the money's real worth. Utilizing the black market exchange rate can be a punishable offense in the country releasing the affected money. However, black market has been of great importance in the promotion of foreign exchange. Therefore, some major trends in black market this year are discussed as follows.

Weakest Devaluation of Naira in the First Quarter

The Nigerian currency depreciated to its weakest degree since the depreciation witnessed in February 2017 in the unofficial black market after the central bank of Nigeria intentionally cut supply to dealers.
The local unit in Nigeria traded at 415 naira per dollar according to, which collects rates from street-traders in Lagos. In the main spot market, naira traded 386.51 per dollar in Lagos in April, 2020, the greatest it has actually traded in 24 years.
The central bank in Africa's most populated nation introduced lately in April that it was putting on hold foreign exchange sales to cash changers till further notice. A drastic shift said to be in line with stopping the spread of coronavirus in the nation.
The action was taken after the devaluation of the currency exchange rate made use of by foreign bond and stock investors, which had actually been mainly secured since year 2017, by around 4% to 380 per dollar. Russia's ruble is down by 15% and also Colombia's peso by 14% given that oil rates dove as well as there is an expectation that Nigeria will have to let its currency deteriorate extra more.

Black Market Pushed Central Bank of Nigeria To Stop

The chief executive officer of Forward Marketing Communications, bureau de change, Abubakar Mohammed said, the fact of central bank stopping sale of dollars to BDCs to contain the spread of coronavirus created some scarcity out there." He further said, "People are purchasing dollars to keep, thinking when things come to normal they'll gain." However, the CBN seems to be interested in stopping sales of dollar more than effect it is going to has on black market as it has forced CBN to take some drastic measures.
Later on in the year, there were even more CBN restrictive policies. Nonetheless, it should be noted that the CBN's restrictive plans, targeted at decreasing demand, might end up injuring services and forcing even more demand pressure on the black market. This may better widen the spread between main and identical market rates. Because of this, any type of moderation in the parallel market prices will certainly depend upon a basic adjustment in the elements currently affecting supply: low oil costs and the dearth of international capital inflows into the nation.

Pressure on Black Market in the Last Quarter

Lately in November, the black market rate decreased to N475/$ 1- its weakest level in 12 weeks - as a result of the failure of the official market to satisfy the big need backlog by manufacturers, traders and foreign investors seeking to repatriate resources. Given that September, the CBN has actually allocated over $1.0 bn to BDCs in a bid to inject more liquidity and simplicity demand stress, according to media sources. However, the volatility on the market remained unabated.
The current pressure on foreign exchange prices is attributable to a number of aspects: First, reputable foreign exchange demand by producers whose responsibility to their international providers remains to increase. In addition, elevated need for dollars appear driven by festive season related importation in anticipation of yuletide sales as well as year-end travel connected need. Finally, speculation by market participants who anticipate the Naira to depreciate also additional remains to weigh on the black market rate.

Dollar Supply Continues To Be Thin

The trading window for importers and exporters, that was introduced in 2017 to draw in resources inflows by providing investors a weaker and also market-determined naira rate, has actually experienced a lack of dollars because the main stopped its regular interventions to offer foreign exchange in March, according to Stanbic IBTC as well as Rand Merchant Bank in a report.
The Rand Merchant Bank said, "Dollar supply remains slim as foreign investors continue to remain on the sidelines in the middle of weak principles and also oil price volatility." Nigeria's economic situation, which has actually remained in a four-week lockdown to suppress the coronavirus pandemic, was predicted to acquire 3.4% this year, according to the International Monetary Fund in March. The trend has come to pass now.
In fact, AZA analysts, Murega Mungai and Terry Karanja said, "We visualize further stress on the naira as a result of decreasing export profits incorporated with deepening economic results from the coronavirus." The quest of dollars is more aggravated by the need and demand from foreign capitalists/investors inability to repatriate funds abroad.

Black Market Defies Monetary Policy of CBN

The recent push stems from monetary policy patterns in 2016 when, in the middle of a recession, Nigeria's federal government stubbornly rejected to devalue the naira in spite of an expanding void between official as well as black market rates. As well as, when it ultimately did, it turned out to be a handled float as it merely moved the money's worth from one peg to an additional.
Yet with the proverbial genie out of the bottle, the past five years have been a relentless experiment on just how to handle a currency crisis of differing proportions. Many things among others got to a head recently when Godwin Emefiele, governor of CBN asserted the black market rate "cannot be the basis" to figure out the naira's genuine worth. Emefiele's debate consisted of explanation of black markets as "illegitimate" and also "shallow."
Yet, with the black market rates not fixed by the central bank of Nigeria unlike others, black market operators frequently provide a more precise decision on the levels of the supply, demand, and also rates of the dollar. While it's hard to record the exact dimension of the parallel market, what's clear is that "it plays a considerable function that analyzes true value of the cash to the common person in the economic climate," states Oghenefejiro Eduviere, Lagos-based foreign exchange trading partner at African currency broker, AZA.
The naira, which started the year at around 360 naira to the dollar on black markets, is now on the verge of crossing the mentally important "red line" of 500 naira.


There has been a lot of trends in the black market otherwise known as parallel market around the world. Basically, the major influence on these trends came from the COVID-19 pandemic that affected the economy and all other institutions. In fact, the reason given by CBN for stopping trading of dollars in the first quarter of the year was the pandemic. Nonetheless, black market keeps on making strong impact in foreign exchange and it can be felt everywhere. It is no more surprising to what extent the black market can greatly influence forex holding to the fact that it provides a better option to investors to get the much needed scarce foreign currencies. Some of the greatest trends that were witnessed have been highlighted so far in the article. However, you can explore more on the trends here. There are more interesting posts on the similar topic that can be assessed.

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Read Comments

Steven Rich
Sep 17, 2018:
Well done

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