Rupee vs World Reserve Currencies in Russo-Indian Trade

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2024-68-6-29-39
A. Polivach,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation.

Received 01.03.2024. Revised 11.03.2024. Accepted 20.03.2024.

Abstract. This article analyses possible connection between sharp depreciation of the Russian Rouble in the second half of 2023 and the growing usage of Indian Rupees for settlement of Russo-Indian trade. Some experts explained that depreciation by the ‘Rupee trap’, which was created by quick growth of Russian exports to India while the opposite flow was not significantly changed. They suggested that superior export revenues of Russian companies from exports to India were accumulated in Rupee accounts in Indian banks. Then somehow, these Rupees have penetrated the foreign exchange market in Russia and have depreciated the Rouble exchange rate. Author has analysed available statistics from both countries and came to conclusion that described problem is factitious. It is true that the usage of Rupee for invoicing in the external trade of India has increased in the last couple of years. However, the real volume of such usage is much smaller than the volume of Indian external trade. Indian Rupee is not a freely convertible currency, so exchange of Rupee assets for other currencies is a subject of a range of restrictions and quotas. Foreign exporters to India are aware of this and in practice agree to accept Rupees only in limited amounts. A number of top-ranking people from Russia and India, who were well informed about mutual trade, confirmed such practice. Therefore, there is no reason to consider that Russian exporters might accumulate too big Rupee assets. In addition, statistics of currency invoicing of Russian external trade in 2022–2023 suggest that volumes of inward and outward flows of non-reserve currencies (like Renminbi, Rupee, Dirham etc.) are about equal. This means that demand/offer of such currencies are balanced. However, for the same period, the demand for Roubles outside Russia was bigger than their offer from Russia. So all together, this does not confirm assertions that increase of Rupee (or other non-reserve currency) assets was the main cause of the sharp Rouble depreciation in 2023.

Keywords: Russia, exchange rate of the Rouble, Indian Rupee, foreign exchange market


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For citation:
Polivach A. Rupee vs World Reserve Currencies in Russo-Indian Trade. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2024, vol. 68, no. 6, pp. 29-39. EDN: TEEUWO

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