Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Ruble Panic Recedes as Russians Start Selling Dollars

Despite the cooling of demand for hard currency, the ruble fell almost 20 percent in January against the dollar after falling 40 percent in 2014.

Russians sold more foreign currency than they bought in January for the first time in two years, the Central Bank said Wednesday, in a sign that last year's panic over the ruble has subsided.

The Russian currency went into meltdown in December as a months-long devaluation prompted by Western sanctions and oil price falls turned into a rout. Massive demand for dollars and euros among Russians exacerbated the ruble's plunge, which peaked on Dec. 17, when the ruble fell 20 percent against the U.S. dollar within a few hours of trading.

But the rout appears to have run its course for now, with demand for foreign cash falling sharply in January, according to data published by the Central Bank.

Individuals sold $6.7 billion in dollars and euros at banks and licensed exchange points in January, $300 million more than they bought over the same period, the data shows.

Both numbers fell steeply from December, when Russians bought the equivalent of $21 billion in dollars and euros and sold $12.5 billion. January was the first month that Russians' sales of hard currency had exceeded purchases since February 2013.

Total foreign exchange transactions both by individuals and between banks declined by more than 60 percent in January, spurring banks to sharply reduce imports of foreign cash, the Central Bank said.

Despite the cooling of demand for hard currency, the ruble fell almost 20 percent in January against the dollar after falling 40 percent in 2014. The Russian currency has since regained its January losses as oil prices stabilized and fears of new Western sanctions over Ukraine eased.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more