Type to search

China’s Yuan Topples Dollar as Most Traded Moscow Currency

Yuan trading accounted for more than 40% of all foreign currency changing hands on the Moscow Exchange in 2023, triple the year before

Chinese yuan and US dollar notes (Rs)
Analysts say the sums involved remain small compared to China's capital markets and outflow is controlled as the fund size is capped and they operate in a closed loop, like the Stock Connect scheme. Photo: Reuters.


Trading volumes in Chinese yuan on the Moscow Exchange overtook the US dollar in 2023, as Russia continues to shun the greenback in the face of crippling Western sanctions on its financial system.

Moscow is becoming increasingly dependent on Beijing and the “no limits” partnership between the two countries, having increased energy supplies to China and stepped up purchases of Chinese goods from cars to smartphones as European and US brands left the Russian market over Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

Yuan trading accounted for almost 42% of all foreign currency traded on the Moscow Exchange, with the volume in 2023 more than tripling year on year to 34.15 trillion roubles ($391.5 billion), the Kommersant daily reported on Tuesday, citing Moscow Exchange data.


Also on AF: China Not a Risk, Premier Li Tells Davos Business Leaders


The dollar’s share stood at 39.5%, with a volume of 32.49 trillion roubles, down from 49.90 trillion roubles in 2022 and a more than 63% share. Yuan trading accounted for a 13% share in 2022.

Unable to trade in what Moscow now considers “unfriendly” currencies like dollars and euros, Russia is seeking to foster trade elsewhere.

China’s use of yuan to buy Russian commodities has sharply increased. China’s 2023 two-way trade with Russia hit a record $240 billion, Chinese customs data showed last week, up 26.3% from a year earlier.

Russia has ramped up imports invoiced in yuan. Over-the-counter trading of the Emirati dirham and Indian rupee has also grown significantly, although exchange trading in those currencies has not yet been launched.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara


Read more:

China’s Yuan Leapfrogs Yen in Global Payments Rankings – FT

Chinese Yuan Passes Euro to be the Second Top Trade Currency

Row Over Paying Yuan for Russian Crude Delays Indian Oil Deals

China Limits Offshore Bond Purchases to Bolster the Yuan

Foreign Investors Shunning China, Piling Pressure on Yuan



Sean O'Meara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.


AF China Bond