Впервые с лета 2017 года: почему курс евро на Мосбирже опускался ниже 65 рублей

At the auction on Friday, May 13, the dollar exchange rate on the Moscow Exchange for the first time since February 2020 fell below 63 rubles. At the same time, the euro fell to 64.9 rubles, the lowest level since June 2017. Experts attribute the observed dynamics to the imbalance of supply and demand for foreign currency on the Russian market. The movement of capital is still largely limited by the measures of the Central Bank, imports have decreased against the backdrop of sanctions, and exports remain high. Moreover, the national currency is supported by the weakening of the euro on the world market and the decision of many EU countries to buy gas from Moscow for rubles. Can the depreciation of exchange rates affect consumer prices in Russia – in the material RT.

On Friday, May 13, the Russian currency noticeably strengthens on the Moscow Exchange. At the beginning of trading, the dollar exchange rate decreased by 1.1% and for the first time since February 2020 reached 62.63 rubles. At the same time, the euro exchange rate fell by 0.5% to 64.94 rubles. The last time a similar indicator could be observed back in June 2017.

Over the past two months, the national currency has almost doubled in price against the American and European ones. Recall that back in early spring, against the backdrop of Western sanctions against Russia, the dollar and euro exchange rates for the first time rose above 121 rubles and 132 rubles, respectively.

Thus, at the moment, the ruble demonstrates the best dynamics among all currencies of the world. This was announced yesterday by President Vladimir Putin at a meeting on economic issues.

According to the head of state, the exchange rate of the Russian currency is strengthening due to a record positive trade balance. A similar point of view in an interview with RT was voiced by Oleg Syrovatkin, a leading analyst at the Otkritie Investments global research department.

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Currency difference: what is the reason for the divergence of the ruble exchange rate on the Moscow Exchange and on the international market

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“Over the past two months, the ruble has been rising in price due to the fact that the supply of foreign currency on the Moscow Exchange significantly exceeds the demand for it. This factor is precisely due to the strong dynamics of the trade balance of Russia – that is, large inflows of export foreign exchange earnings with a low volume of imports, ”explained Syrovatkin.

As Vasily Karpunin, head of the information and analytical content department of BCS World of Investments, told RT, as a result of Western sanctions, the import of foreign goods to Russia has significantly decreased. Meanwhile, the volume of deliveries of Russian products abroad in monetary terms is still high. This is largely due to rising commodity prices.

At the same time, foreign investors’ access to the Russian foreign exchange market is still blocked, and exporting companies, in accordance with the decree of the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank, are still required to sell 80% of their foreign exchange earnings. In other words, the bulk of the dollars and euros received by the business must be exchanged for rubles.

“As a result, in the foreign exchange market, from which non-residents were turned off, there is a bias in favor of currency sellers. Until imports recover or foreign exchange regulations are significantly relaxed, the ruble may look strong,” said Vasily Karpunin.

Auxiliary factors

In addition, news about the intention of an increasing number of European countries to buy Russian gas for rubles has a positive impact on the dynamics of the national currency. Vladimir Chernov, an analyst at Freedom Finance Investment Company, spoke about this in a conversation with RT.

“Most EU countries are switching to paying for gas in rubles. If earlier only ten European companies agreed to buy our gas for rubles, then this week it became known about the opening of accounts with Gazprombank by another ten. Meanwhile, another 14 enterprises requested the necessary documents for this procedure. All this has led to a sharp strengthening of the Russian currency in recent days, ”Chernov believes.

Recall that since April, in Russia, on behalf of Vladimir Putin, a new settlement procedure has been introduced for the supply of natural gas to unfriendly countries. After large-scale Western sanctions and the blocking of almost half of Russia’s gold and foreign exchange reserves abroad, Moscow now accepts payments for energy raw materials only in rubles.

To do this, foreign buyers must open two special accounts with Gazprombank: currency and ruble. First, the money must be transferred to a foreign currency account, after which the bank on the Moscow Exchange will exchange these funds for rubles and credit them to the ruble account. Immediately after that, the foreign partner will be able to transfer rubles directly to the gas seller.

“Paying for Russian gas in rubles increases the demand for rubles on the stock exchange, since first financial resources in euros come to Gazprombank’s accounts and then they are converted into the Russian national currency in order to be credited to another, and the contract was considered paid,” Vladimir Chernov explained.

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One of the reasons for the depreciation of the euro against the ruble to a five-year low was the record depreciation of the European currency on the international market, analysts say. Thus, over the past two months, the euro exchange rate against the dollar has fallen by more than 5% and is now close to $1.04. The value was the lowest since January 2017.

Experts do not rule out that the observed trend will continue in the near future, and parity may emerge on the market. In other words, the dollar and euro rates for the first time in 20 years may equalize.

“In recent months, we have noted the risk of such a scenario many times. Moreover, there is a high probability that the euro will start to cost slightly less than the dollar. The key reasons are the much stronger vulnerability of the European economy to rising energy prices, the deterioration of the region’s trade balance, as well as the ECB’s softer monetary policy compared to the Fed,” explained Vasily Karpunin.

strengthening effect

According to experts, due to the significant strengthening of the ruble in the near future, the Central Bank will continue to lift the previously introduced currency restrictions. Recall that in early spring, under sanctions, the Central Bank approved a set of measures to stabilize the situation on the financial market. In addition to the mandatory sale of foreign exchange earnings by exporters, the regulator temporarily raised the key rate to 20% per annum, limited the withdrawal of capital abroad and introduced a temporary procedure for the circulation of cash in the country.

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However, today the Bank of Russia has lowered the key rate to 14% per annum and eased a number of foreign exchange restrictions for citizens. So, for example, Russians were again allowed to buy cash dollars and euros at bank cash desks. In addition, the Central Bank plans to cancel the mandatory sale of foreign exchange earnings for non-resource non-energy exporters, and for raw materials – to reduce the standard from the current 80% to 50%.

Thus, the regulator will slow down further strengthening of the national currency, analysts say. As experts explain, a too strong ruble is unprofitable for the country’s budget, since as a result of the depreciation of the dollar and the euro, the treasury’s export revenues are reduced.

“The task of the Central Bank is to ensure financial stability, so any possible easing is likely to be slow and gradual. Ceteris paribus, this should reduce the imbalance between the supply of foreign currency and the demand for it and at least limit the strengthening of the ruble,” Oleg Syrovatkin explained.

Nevertheless, the appreciation of the national currency over the past two months should have a positive impact on the level of inflation in Russia, experts believe. Weekly consumer price growth has already slowed to 0.1% from 2% in March, according to Rosstat.

In annual terms, inflation is still close to 18%. At the same time, analysts do not exclude that by the end of 2022 the value will be lower.

“The deceleration of weekly inflation is mainly due to the unprecedented strengthening of the ruble. Given the scale of the fall in the dollar and the rise in prices over the past two months, deflation is not ruled out in certain weeks. However, according to the results of the current year, inflation in annual terms will be about 15-17%,” concluded Vasily Karpunin.

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