The Chinese yuan has out-traded the US dollar by volume for one of the first times in recent Russian history. The dollar was king in 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed, but that is no longer the case after Moscow branded the dollar a “toxic currency” along with the euro. Toxic currencies accounted for 87% of exports from Russia at the beginning of 2022, but this figure fell to 48% by the start of the new year. The Bank of Russia has reported that the proportion of USD/ruble pair in exchange fell to only 36% in February. The central bank is calling this a “broad structural transformation of the Russian economy.”
As “unfriendly countries” and their “toxic currencies” band together, those on the outskirts are winning. China has become the new go-to country for new trade partnerships as it bypasses Western-imposed sanctions. Toxic currencies represented 46% of imports in December 2022 but were at 65% in January 2022 before the war. In contrast, the yuan’s share rose from 4% to 23% during that time.
Those who were previously shunned from the big table are now pulling up a chair to discuss economic prospects with China. This will make it much easier to phase out toxic currencies because more people are willing to accept the yuan. The confidence in the yuan is growing. Everything occurring may seem odd, but it is precisely on target. As I mentioned in my report “China on the Rise,” China will dethrone the United States to become the world’s leading economic powerhouse by 2032. It’s just time.
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