The Bank of Russia recorded a decrease in net demand of the population for cash foreign currency, uncharacteristic for June: compared with May, it fell by 27% to $ 700 million. Compared to June last year, the drop is even greater – 2.3 times. Net demand is calculated as the difference between how much citizens sold to banks and withdrawn currencies from their accounts, and how much they bought and credited to their accounts.
This was due to a decrease in net demand for dollars: relative to June 2020, it fell more than six times, to $ 196 million, compared to May, there was a drop by almost four times. The demand for the euro increased 2.6 times compared to the previous month, to $ 459 million, but compared to June last year, it grew not so much – by 76%.
Usually, the demand for currency is growing on the eve of the vacation period, writes the Central Bank. The decline in demand was influenced by the uncertainty of the situation due to the introduction of entry restrictions by the authorities of the countries popular among Russians: compulsory vaccination, PCR tests. Citizens reoriented themselves to domestic tourism, which led to the sale of accumulated cash currency, which they withdrew from foreign currency accounts.
A separate demand for the euro can be explained by the fact that in June a number of European countries (for example, Croatia, Great Britain) began to open their borders to tourists, said Aisylu Alekseenko, a leading analyst on banking ratings at Expert RA. The growth in demand could hardly have been influenced by inflation or expectations of a weakening of the ruble, she believes: in this case, it is enough to keep the balance on the foreign currency account in the bank, there is no need to withdraw cash.
Compared to May, the aggregate demand (the amount of currency purchased from banks, received through exchange and withdrawn from foreign currency accounts) for foreign currency increased by 8% and amounted to $ 3.5 billion. Its size was less than in June 2019 and 2020. by 14 and 11%, respectively. The aggregate demand for dollars in June decreased by 8% to $ 2.2 billion, for euros – increased by 58% to $ 1.2 billion. A year ago, the situation with demand for currency was different: for dollars, demand was $ 3.1 billion, for euros – $ 800 million. The share of dollars in the structure of aggregate demand decreased in June 2021 to 64% versus 75% in May, the share of the euro increased from 24 to 35%.
In June, the Russians withdrew 3% less money from foreign currency accounts than in May – $ 2 billion. Compared to last year, the amount has not changed. In dollars, 1.3 billion were withdrawn (-17% to May). On the contrary, euro in accounts increased – by 174 million, or 37%, to 645 million in dollar terms.
The population bought foreign currency in banks by 32% more than in May – $ 1.5 billion. Dollars bought more by 9% ($ 888 million), but compared to last year – by 24% less. The European currency was bought for $ 567 million, which is 93% and 53% more than in the previous month and June 2020, respectively. The number of transactions involving the purchase of foreign currency in cash by citizens compared to May increased by 36% and amounted to 900 million transactions. The average purchase size fell 3% to $ 1,583.
At the same time, the supply (sale to banks and crediting to accounts) by the population of dollars in June increased by 23% compared to May, euros – by 27%, amounting to $ 2 billion and 800 million, respectively. The share of dollars in the supply structure increased to 72% versus 71%, euros – from 25 to 27%.
Citizens sold to banks $ 1 billion in cash foreign currency, which is 23% more than in May and 52% in June 2020. The dollars accounted for $ 723 million, which is 28% higher than in May and 53% in June last year. Euros were sold for $ 257 million – 19 and 44% more than in May and June, respectively.
Banks imported into the country almost $ 2 billion of currency in cash – the maximum since the beginning of the year. An increase of 58% versus May and 63% – June 2020. Of this amount, $ 1.6 billion is in dollars. Their imports increased by 54% both in comparison with May and last year’s June. Euro 353 million were imported, which is 2.5 times more than in May and 2.1 times more than in June 2020. A year ago, against the backdrop of a pandemic and a fall in financial markets, Russian banks in March imported into the country $ 4.95 billion and 1.13 billion euros … More banks were imported only in March and December of the crisis 2014 ($ 9.5 billion and 10.15 billion euros, respectively), noted RBC.