June RMB Tracker: US dollar remains widely used for payments between China and US

Published 
  • SWIFT’s RMB Tracker shows that only 2.4% of all payments by value between the United States and China/Hong Kong are exchanged in RMB.

Brussels – Recent SWIFT data shows that RMB adoption by the United States remains relatively flat. Compared to May 2014, the United States experienced a 10.3% increase in RMB payments, but compared to last year, May 2015, the figures showed a minor decline of 1.6%.

In May 2016, the United States represented 10.5% of all offshore RMB payments by value, making the United States number four in the world, excluding China and Hong Kong. The United Kingdom stays in the top position with 23.6%, followed by Singapore (19.8%) and Taiwan (11.6%). China and Hong Kong still handled 74.9% of all RMB payments.

“Over time, we expect the United States to further strengthen its position on the RMB with the recent creation of ‘the U.S. RMB Trading and Clearing Working Group,” says Astrid Thorsen, Head of Business Intelligence Solutions, SWIFT. “The main objective of this working group is to identify, evaluate, and recommend opportunities to develop and expand the trading, clearing, and settlement of RMB in the United States. The establishment of New York as a RMB trading center would represent a significant development for the city, which would also reinforce North America’s position currently covered by the RMB offshore centre located in Toronto.”

In May 2016, the RMB held its position as the sixth ranked global payments currency by value with a share of 1.90%, a slight increase from 1.82% in April 2016. Overall, RMB payments value increased by 2.85% compared to April 2016, whilst in general all payments currencies decreased by 1.50%.

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