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Yuan Overtakes Dollar For 1st Time in China Cross-Border Trade

Beijing has been pushing hard for the yuan to be used over the US dollar to settle cross-border trades but its use in global finance remains low

A 100 yuan/RMB note is seen with the US dollar. Photo: AFP
A 100 yuan/RMB note is seen with the US dollar. Photo: AFP


The yuan overtook the dollar for the first time last month to became the most widely-used currency for cross-border transactions in China, official data showed, as Beijing continues to push for its wider use.

Cross-border payments and receipts in yuan rose to a record $549.9 billion in March from $434.5 billion a month earlier, according to a Reuters calculation based on data from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange.

The yuan was used in 48.4% of all cross-border transactions, while the dollar’s share declined to 46.7% from 48.6% a month earlier. The volume of cross-border transactions covers both the current and capital accounts.


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China has long been promoting the use of the yuan to settle cross-border trades as part of an effort to internationalise the use of its currency.

The yuan’s use in global trade finance remains low, though it has shown steady increases.

Data from SWIFT showed that the yuan’s share of global currency transactions for trade finance rose to 4.5% in March, while the dollar accounted for 83.71%.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara


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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.


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