The Russian currency is under pressure from new packages of Western sanctions, as well as still high domestic demand for imports
The process of strengthening the ruble will not last long, many analysts say today. In particular, the chief economist of Alfa-Bank, Natalya Orlova, is convinced of this, according to her calculations, the Russian currency exchange rate will return to the range from 90 to 95 per dollar in December. There are several reasons, and, according to skeptics, they will definitely outweigh the factors shaping the current positive exchange rate dynamics for the ruble.
On Thursday, November 23, the ruble strengthened on the Moscow Exchange, respectively, to levels of 88.35 per dollar and 96.38 per euro. And at the auction on Tuesday, for the first time since June 30, it surpassed the 88 ruble level. Meanwhile, as Assistant to the President of the Russian Federation Maxim Oreshkin recently noted in an interview with MK, although the domestic currency may continue this trend and grow further, one should not expect “drastic” deviations from current values. According to him, the prospects for the ruble depend on “which of the multidirectional trends will be stronger” – positive or negative.
The current favorable situation for the ruble is mainly due to the fact that Russian exporters have been forced to sell more currency. Accordingly, if this regime is canceled in 2024, the dollar will cost from 100 to 110 rubles per unit, says Natalya Orlova, chief economist at Alfa-Bank. Already now, in order to meet the sales quota, businesses first have to buy additional currency, because already approximately 40% of exports are paid for in rubles. At the same time, the authorities are not interested in returning dollar payments, argues Orlova. In addition, the expert reminds, a too strong ruble is unprofitable for the budget, which is based on an exchange rate of 90 per dollar.
“Now the ruble is influenced by three groups of factors,” says financial analyst, candidate of economic sciences Mikhail Belyaev. – Firstly, exporters were obliged to repatriate and sell foreign exchange earnings, the influx of which into the market increased the demand for rubles. But this is a classic method of manual regulation: it works today, tomorrow it doesn’t. Secondly, at present, it is not so much the ruble that is strengthening against the dollar, but rather that it is weakening against world currencies. However, the trend will soon reverse: the American economy has been and remains extremely stable. Finally, this summer there were positive changes in the Russian economy. The problem is that the Central Bank’s key rate of 15% in no way contributes to maintaining the fairly high GDP growth rates recorded in the third quarter, and in itself does not affect the exchange rate in any way.”
Accordingly, according to According to Belyaev, until the end of the year the ruble will fluctuate around 90-91, and in January it will begin to weaken again. In manual mode, authorities can only control market factors that influence the exchange rate. We need a systemic policy to stimulate the economy, and not superficial steps like selling foreign currency, the analyst is convinced.
Among other factors now working to strengthen the ruble is the tax period, which requires an active exchange of foreign banknotes for Russian ones for payment here fiscal payments. But its completion on November 28 will lead to a reduction in the supply of foreign currency on the market. In addition, the ruble is under pressure from new packages of Western sanctions that are in development, and still high domestic demand for imports, notes leading analyst at Freedom Finance Global Natalya Milchakova. Under the pressure of all these circumstances, it will not be easy for the Russian national currency to maintain its current, fairly high positions.