Devaluation hits Wisynco prices

Business reporter

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

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Months after announcing a three per cent reduction in the prices of imported goods to pass on savings from the declining US currency, newly listed Wisynco Group says it has been forced to revert to original prices as the US currency once again strengthens against the Jamaican dollar.

In a notice on the Jamaica Stock Exchange yesterday, Wisynco noted that effective July 2, a three per cent increase will take effect for the company's imported portfolio of products.

On Tuesday, the Jamaican dollar closed trading at $133.80 to US$1, a loss of roughly 6.5 per cent since January. Last December, when Wisynco decided to reduce prices to pass on savings to consumer, the local currency traded at $125.22 to US$1 after peaking at J$131.31 three months earlier.

The revaluation of the Jamaican dollar followed on the introduction of the Bank of Jamaica Foreign Exchange Intervention and Trading Tool (BFXITT), a system designed to foster more competitive behaviour among authorised dealers and cambios of foreign currency.

Shortly after the BOJ reported that the exchange rate appreciated by .04 per cent compared with a depreciation of 7.7 per cent for the 12 months to October 2017. The decline in the US currency also led President of the Jamaica Manufacturers' and Exporters' Association, Metry Seaga, encouraging members to pass on benefits to consumers.

But yesterday, chairman of Wisynco, William Mahfood complained that the fluctuation in local currency has been hurting the company from increases in the cost of transportation and oil.

Despite the reverted price on imported goods, Mahfood says he is open to again reduce prices upon revaluation of the Jamaican dollar.

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