Foreign currency sales in Belarus exceed its purchased volumes by wide margin

Belarusians continue to exchange US dollars into Belarusian rubles, but not as actively as before. However, a situation where more foreign currency is sold than bought has been around for more than three years.

Migrant workers are working, the authorities are not keeping an artificial exchange rate, and Belarusians continue to sell US dollars. The situation has been around for more than three years. In addition to the three-year trend, the amount of sold foreign money has been steadily decreasing for 5 months. Since October it has fallen by almost 18 percent. While the number of foreign currency purchases has fallen by nearly 23 percent.

“The person pays a utilities bill, buys something to eat, and they still have money left, and they can afford to buy foreign currency. If there’s no extra money, and devaluation expectations are significantly lower, then there are no reasons to either buy foreign currency nor opportunities todo it,” explains a senior analyst with Alpari Vadzim Iosub.

For years, people bought foreign currency, since they did not believe in the stability of the national exchange rate which was controlled by the government.

As soon as the authorities released their hold over the ruble exchange rate, it became relatively stable. Experts say that probably a large proportion of the sold currency is the money sent from abroad by the Belarusians, who are often considered social parasites. But to trace the exact sources of the flows is almost impossible.

Senior analyst at Alpari, Vadzim Iosub comments:

“In any case, the only thing that can be said with a high degree of accuracy is that you should not expect that in the upcoming future this foreign currency is completely over.”

That is why, according to experts, despite the fall, Belarusians still have a safety margin. And that means, so does the Belarusian ruble.

Vitaut Siuchyk,

Photo: Iryna Arakhouskaya

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