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Product pricing affected by fluctuation of currency


I’m in Israel. I have a customer in South Africa who wants me to quote prices in US dollars. In addition, he expects me to not only quote in dollars for imminent orders but to also guarantee the prices for a number of months. As I pay for product and services in NIS, if the NIS strengthens against the dollar, I bear the loss and now, for example, as the dollar has strengthened, I stand to gain slightly. Is it halachically correct that as I was the one taking the risk that I’m entitled to be on the receiving end when there’s a gain? Even for products he ordered that I’ve only purchased after the strengthening of the dollar? If so, even though I’m expected to and have been the bearer of the loss at times, would there be a moral basis to not take advantage of the gain and adjust the price based on the present exchange so my markup remains at my standard percentage?
There isn’t set timing for payment. He organizes payments here and there with people traveling or through other means. Mostly it’s to cover what he’s already received, sometimes it will also be to cover merchandise that is sitting here awaiting for him to find a shaliach, which, during Covid has been very intermittent and sometimes it may partially cover some of what he has on order.




It is permitted whether the price of the shekel goes up or down. There is however one condition, that the customer have some dollars when he receives the merchandise. The reason it is permitted, is because it was not a loan, rather a sale, and the sale price is the value of the second merchandise. In order to compensate for the fact that the price of the dollar will fluctuate, it is sufficient if the customer has some dollars on him.

If the customer would be sending you dollars up front, (called psika) before you have the merchandise, then there would be other conditions, however since he is paying you after getting the merchandise, it is a sale and permitted.

(As a side point, I never got your subsequent e-mails).

Best wishes


ט”ז יורה דעה סימן קסב ס”ק ט “… ולא תקשה ממ”ש בסי’ קס”ג סעיף ב’ תן לי חטין שאני רוצה למכור וליקח יין דשרי ביש לו דהתם מכירה ודרך מכירה כן הוא למכור כדי להרויח בו אח”כ מה שאין כן בהלואה שאסור להרויח בפרעון הלואתו.

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  1. Strange. I sent emails multiple times from 2 different accounts.
    I hadn’t taken ribis into account! Assuming there’s no question of ribis, what’s morally/halachically appropriate to charge when the dollar price goes down? He expects me to lock in a dollar price even if at the time I pay for the merchandise or he pays me the NIS is weaker and my profit is less. Is it fair to tell him that the same way you make me take the risk for a loss, if the NIS strengthens and I’d then gain, that gain should also be mine or if the merchandise costs me less, I should lower the price to just make my standard % markup?

    1. You mean to say that in a business deal is isn’t “moral” for both sides to gain from the fluctuation, and it is moral for it to be a one sided deal?!
      If there isn’t any issue regarding “seah bseah”, or ay of the other ribbis issues, why can’t you also profit?
      If out of the goodness of your heart you want to give him a discount you can.

      1. Thank you. I appreciate the confirmation that it’s a 2 way street. I didn’t understand why he was upset that I didnt adjust the price in his favorwhen there was a rare situation as of late for me to gain.

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