Russian rube catches up with US dollar in export settlement

The share of dollars and rubles in Russia's export settlements has become almost equal, whereas the share of the Chinese yuan has approached the euro, a report from the Bank of Russia said.

Over the first nine months of 2022, the share of the US dollar in Russian export settlements decreased from 52 to 34 percent, while the share of ruble settlements increased from 12.3 to 32.4 percent, the Bank of Russia said in its Financial Stability Review for the second and third quarter of the year.

The share of the yuan in export settlements approached the euro during the same time, the report said, RBC reports. By the end of September, the euro accounted for 19 percent of settlements (at the beginning of the year about 35 percent), the yuan — 14 against 0.4 percent.

The reduction in the use of the dollar and the euro in foreign trade occurred "against the backdrop of unprecedented sanctions from the US and the EU. The reorientation of trade flows towards the Asian direction and decisions to change the currency of settlements under existing contracts with companies from China and other countries contributed to the growth of settlements in Chinese currency and Russian rubles.

The share of the Russian ruble in export settlements started growing in May 2022, when it reached 27.5 percent, while the dollar and euro accounted for 35.7 and 32.9 percent respectively over the same period. The share of settlements in the Chinese yuan rose sharply in March — from 0.3-0.4 to 1.5 percent, the above-mentioned report said.

"A significant part of export and import payments remains in dollars and euros, but servicing those payments is difficult today due to the fact that a significant percentage of banks remain under sanctions and thus can not carry out such operations. Some other banks were disconnected from SWIFT, and their correspondent accounts come out of service," the Bank of Russia noted in the report.

Switching to alternative currencies in payments is associated with difficulties, the Bank of Russia admitted.

"For this purpose, one needs to build an infrastructure — a similar system of correspondent accounts, message transmission services, infrastructure of foreign exchange operations — through an exchange, on the interbank market, etc.)”.

The Russian Central Bank works actively with other regulators to build such an infrastructure.

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Author`s name Petr Ernilin
Editor Dmitry Sudakov
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