Sberbank has lowered its estimate of the average ruble / dollar rate for 2022 from 70 to 67 rubles, and the euro – from 83 to 72 rubles. The expected strengthening of the Russian currency is associated with high gas prices in Europe, said Yuri Popov, strategist for currency markets and interest rates at SberCIB Investment Research.
“The ruble may rise in price by 6% thanks to high gas prices,” he said.
From the beginning of 2021 to October, prices for European gas on the spot market have increased almost eightfold – from $ 250 to $ 2,000 per 1,000 cubic meters. After the statement made on October 6 by Russian President Vladimir Putin about the country’s readiness to increase the volume of supplies to Europe, fuel became cheaper. At the opening of today’s trading, the price of November futures on the Dutch TTF gas hub was $ 1150.
At the same time, Europe consumes about 400 billion cubic meters. m. of gas annually, and 90% of this volume falls on imported fuel, Popov said. Russia annually supplies there about 180 billion cubic meters. m of gas.
“If we take as a basis the average gas prices set by the Ministry of Finance for the current and next year – $ 208 per 1,000 cubic meters. m, in monetary terms, annual exports can be estimated at $ 50 billion. However, oil and gas analysts at SberCIB believe that in 2022 the average gas price of Gazprom for Europe will amount to $ 375 per thousand cubic meters. m. If we focus on the SberCIB forecast, gas exports abroad next year could reach $ 80 billion, ”the analyst said.
Gazprom pays export duty on gas in the amount of 30% of the cost. Thus, with additional export earnings of $ 30 billion, another $ 9 billion will be transferred to the National Welfare Fund, and an additional inflow of foreign currency into the market will amount to $ 21 billion, due to which the ruble will strengthen relative to current levels.
The situation on the gas market has a negative impact on the euro, said Popov. The rise in fuel prices accelerates inflation in the eurozone, leads to an increase in inflationary expectations of the population and reduces the profitability of the European public debt. As a result, the gap between the real yields on US and European national debt is widening, and the euro is weakening against the dollar. SberCIB believes that in 2022 this dynamics will continue and the rate of the European currency against the American one will decrease, amounting not to $ 1.10, but to $ 1.07.
The ruble has been strengthening against the dollar and the euro since August 27. At the close of trading that day, the American currency was sold at 73.53 rubles, the European one – 86.78 rubles. At the opening of today’s trading, the dollar was worth 70.86 rubles, the euro – 82.51 rubles. By 15:15 Moscow time, the ruble weakened slightly – to 71.26 rubles. per dollar and 82.93 per euro, follows from the data of the Moscow Exchange.