Mauritius Rupee Hits Record Low Against Dollar

Mauritius Rupee Hits Record Low Against Dollar

Adelina Silva
2 min read

Mauritius's Rupee Hits Record Low Against the Dollar Despite Central Bank's Efforts

Mauritius is facing a concerning economic situation as its rupee hit a record low against the dollar, despite efforts from the central bank. The Bank of Mauritius attempted to stabilize the currency by selling $50 million, but this intervention failed to sustain the initial boost and the rupee fell to 48.605 rupees per dollar. The island nation, heavily reliant on imports, is grappling with a widening trade deficit, expected to reach nearly 200 billion rupees this year. Although foreign-currency inflows have shown some improvement, surpassing pre-pandemic levels, the market remains doubtful about the rupee's stability. In response, the central bank has urged companies to release their foreign currency holdings into the market to mitigate the shortage.

Key Takeaways

  • Mauritius's rupee hits record low against the dollar.
  • Central bank's $50 million dollar sale failed to meet market demand.
  • Rupee declined despite initial 3.8% gain post-intervention.
  • Mauritius faces widening trade deficit, nearing $4.1 billion.
  • Foreign currency inflows exceed pre-pandemic levels, according to the Financial Services Minister.


The depreciation of the Mauritian rupee is attributed to unmet dollar demand and a widening trade deficit. Short-term impacts include increased import costs and inflationary pressures, which adversely affect consumers and businesses. If left unresolved, there is potential for long-term consequences such as capital flight and credit rating downgrades. While the central bank's encouragement of foreign currency release may provide temporary market stabilization, addressing structural economic imbalances is pivotal for sustained recovery.

Did You Know?

  • Central Bank Intervention in Currency Markets:
    • The Bank of Mauritius's sale of $50 million exemplifies direct intervention in the foreign exchange market. Central banks commonly intervene to stabilize or manipulate their currency's value by buying or selling their own or foreign currencies. In this instance, the bank aimed to support the Mauritian rupee by increasing the supply of dollars, thereby reducing demand and stabilizing the exchange rate. However, it was insufficient to meet the high demand for dollars, indicating underlying economic issues.
  • Trade Deficit:
    • A trade deficit occurs when the value of a country's imports surpasses the value of its exports. For Mauritius, this deficit is substantial and contributes to the rupee's weakness. The reliance on imports, coupled with the inability to sufficiently increase exports, leads to a constant need for foreign currency for payment. This demand for foreign currency, particularly the dollar, places downward pressure on the rupee's value.
  • Foreign Currency Inflows:
    • Foreign currency inflows encompass money coming into a country from abroad, typically through exports, foreign investments, remittances, and tourism. In Mauritius, despite these inflows surpassing pre-pandemic levels, the rupee continues to struggle due to the high demand for dollars to cover the trade deficit and other economic needs. The skepticism about the rupee's stability indicates that the inflows, while improved, are not yet at a sufficient level to counteract the economic pressures faced by the country.

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