China’s Yuan Beats US Dollar as the Top Currency Traded in Russia

By Jace Dela Cruz

Jan 19, 2024 02:43 AM EST

China's yuan has ousted the US dollar as the most traded currency in Russia in 2023. 

Citing a Kommersant report, Reuters reported that the trading volumes of the Chinese yuan on the Moscow Exchange surpassed that of the US dollar in 2023.

(Photo : KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images)
This photograph taken on February 9, 2023 shows a Russian ruble coin and a Chinese yuan banknote in Moscow.

China's Yuan Beats US Dollar in Russia Currency Trading

According to the Moscow Exchange data, China's yuan accounted for 42% of currency trades on the Moscow Exchange in 2023, higher than the US dollar's share of 39.5%. 

Chinese yuan trading volume tripled to 34.15 trillion rubles ($385 billion), while the US dollar's volume fell to 32.49 trillion ($365 billion) rubles.

The surge in yuan trading, which accounted for a 13% share in 2022, indicates that Russia is increasingly becoming dependent on China as it pursues a de-dollarization strategy amid Western sanctions on its financial system.

READ ALSO: China Snubs Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Davos as It Continues to Side With Russia's Vladimir Putin

Economic Partnership Between China and Russia

The "no limits" partnership between China and Russia, which includes increased energy supplies to Beijing and a surge in purchases of Chinese goods, from cars to mobile phones, becomes increasingly evident. 

Many US and European brands had already left the Russian market over Moscow's actions in Ukraine. As Russia faces limitations in what it now considers "unfriendly" currencies like US dollars and euros, Moscow now actively seeks to foster trade elsewhere.

China's use of yuan to purchase commodities in Russia has sharply jumped, with the country's 2023 two-way trade with Moscow recorded $240 billion, up 26.3% from last year. On the other hand, Moscow has increased imports billed in Chinese yuan. 

READ MORE: China, Russia Boast Bilateral Trade at 'All-Time High' Despite Sanctions From the US and Its Allies

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