On Friday, December 29, the Russian currency moderately strengthens on the Moscow Exchange.

During trading in 2022, the dollar exchange rate fell by less than 0.01% to 72.17 rubles, and the euro exchange rate by 1.5% to 74.85 rubles.

In general, over the past 12 months, the national currency has risen in price by about 3.4% against the US and by 11.4% against the European.

Meanwhile, throughout the year, trading on the Moscow Exchange was accompanied by sharp fluctuations in the exchange rate of the ruble - from its record weakening to the maximum strengthening over the past few years.

In 2022, the Russian currency met near 75 rubles per dollar and 84 rubles per euro.

Nevertheless, already at the end of January, the indicators rose above 80 and 90 rubles, respectively, against the backdrop of increased geopolitical risks.

At the time, investors were worried about the lack of progress in talks between Russia, the US and NATO on security guarantees.

As a result, Moscow failed to reach an agreement with the West on security guarantees, and in the meantime, the situation in the Donbas began to deteriorate sharply due to provocations from Kyiv.

As a result, at the end of February, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced first the recognition of the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics, and then the start of a special military operation to protect the DPR and LPR from aggression from Ukraine.

In response, the United States, the European Union and a number of other states began to impose economic sanctions on Moscow that were unprecedented in scale.

Restrictions, in particular, affected the banking industry, the financial and energy sectors, as well as aviation and trade.

At the same time, almost half of Russia's gold and foreign exchange reserves (worth $300 billion) were frozen, and many international companies announced their withdrawal from the Russian market.

The actions of the West provoked an emotional reaction of the Russian financial market and led to a sharp weakening of the national currency.

So, in the first half of March, the dollar and euro exchange rates on the Moscow Exchange briefly exceeded 121 and 132 rubles - for the first time in history.

Moreover, in the international Forex market, the values ​​rose even higher - up to 154 and 168 rubles.

“Investors began to urgently sell Russian assets, converting rubles into foreign currency.

All this continued until the Central Bank and the government took a number of countermeasures, which stabilized the situation.

So, for example, as a result of the actions of the Central Bank, foreign players lost the opportunity to make transactions on the Russian market, and without their negative impact on the exchange rate, the ruble stopped falling.

However, on foreign sites, investors still played out the topic of sanctions, and there the rates rose higher, ”Alexey Fedorov, an analyst at Teletrade, explained to RT.

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To normalize the situation in the economy and the financial sector, the government approved a plan of priority measures, which included more than 300 different initiatives, and also obliged exporters to sell 80% of their foreign exchange earnings.

Along with this, the Central Bank temporarily raised the key rate to 20% per annum, limited the withdrawal of capital abroad and introduced a temporary procedure for the circulation of cash in the country.

“The high rate made all borrowings and loans expensive, which in fact strengthened the ruble.

An important role was played by a number of restrictions on transactions with dollars and euros by the Central Bank, after which these currencies became toxic in Russia.

A ban was introduced on the withdrawal of cash currency from accounts, commissions for its conversion and storage on bank deposits were increased, and limits were set on the export of currency and transfers abroad,” Vladimir Chernov, an analyst at Freedom Finance Global, reminded RT.

As a result, already in early April, the dollar and euro rates on the Moscow Exchange fell below 80 and 90 rubles and continued to decline steadily in the following weeks.

As a result, at the end of May, the values ​​reached 55.8 and 57.1 rubles.

Breaking the balances

According to experts, the ruble was additionally supported by the imbalance of supply and demand formed in the Russian currency market.

The business began to massively sell the available dollars and euros, and then - to transfer money into rubles and currencies of friendly countries.

In turn, the interest of importing companies in foreign banknotes also weakened, as the supply of foreign products to Russia fell due to external restrictions.

At the same time, dollars and euros received from exports continued to flow into Russia in significant volumes, primarily due to relatively high energy prices.

Thus, within the framework of sanctions rhetoric, Western states began to massively refuse to import Russian hydrocarbons, which led to an excessive rise in the cost of raw materials on the world market.

For example, in spring, the cost of Brent oil for the first time since 2008 exceeded $139 per barrel, while gas prices in Europe rose to a record $3.8 thousand per 1 thousand cubic meters.


“To this was added the introduction of new conditions for paying for Russian gas in rubles.

In fact, Gazprombank first received currency from buyers of raw materials, then converted it into rubles on the stock exchange, and only after that did the payment go through.

That is, this rule also seriously contributed to the growth in demand for rubles,” Vladimir Chernov added.

Against this background, according to the calculations of the Central Bank, in the first half of 2022, the current account surplus of Russia's balance of payments (the difference between the inflow of foreign currency from abroad and its outflow from the country) reached $146.5 billion. This is about 3.7 times more than than for the same period in 2021.

As a result, at the end of June, the dollar exchange rate on the Moscow Exchange fell to 50.01 rubles, the lowest level since May 2015.

At the same time, the euro fell to 52.7 rubles.

The last time a similar indicator could be observed back in October 2014.

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Moreover, at a certain moment both values ​​became equal, and already in the fall, the European currency on the Moscow Exchange began to cost less than the American one.

So, for example, at the auction on September 30, the dollar fell to 53.23 rubles, and the euro to 50.73 rubles.

The reason for this state of affairs was the record weakening of the single European currency in the international market, experts say.

This is how global investors began to react to the deteriorating economic situation in the eurozone.

“Europe, due to its own sanctions against Russia, has found itself in an energy crisis that has called into question the future of local industry.

Some enterprises did not wait for the resolution of this situation and preferred to relocate to other regions, provoking an outflow of capital,” Alexey Fedorov explained.

However, in the second half of autumn, the European currency still managed to win back part of the losses.

As a result, the euro on the world and Russian markets again began to cost a little more than the dollar.

“Of course, the energy crisis in Europe has come, but due to warm weather, the actions of local authorities and a sharp increase in raw material reserves, the disaster did not happen.

Although, of course, the euro continues to be under pressure due to the situation in Ukraine, rising inflation and the economic crisis in the eurozone, ”Andrei Maslov, an analyst at FG Finam, told RT.


It is noteworthy that the sharp appreciation of the ruble soon aroused concern among the Russian authorities.

As First Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Andrey Belousov noted, the overvalued exchange rate has become a challenge for the country's industry, since the optimal value of the dollar for the industry is 70-80 rubles.

Moreover, too strong national currency began to negatively affect budget revenues, as stated by Finance Minister Anton Siluanov.

According to him, a decrease in the exchange rate by 1 ruble leads to losses of the treasury in the amount of 130-200 billion rubles.

Thus, when the Russian currency strengthens against the American and European ones, the budget loses more than 1 trillion rubles by 10 rubles at once, the minister explained.

However, as the situation on the Russian financial market improves and the economy adapts to new conditions, the Central Bank began to gradually ease the currency restrictions introduced in the spring, as well as to reduce the key rate.

This, in turn, led to some weakening of the ruble.

“In September, the Central Bank lowered its rate to 7.5% per annum, as inflation was slowed down, and deflation was observed in Russia throughout the summer.

A high rate slows down economic growth in the country, but lowering it automatically makes the national currency cheaper, as the cost of all borrowing is reduced,” explained Vladimir Chernov.

In addition, the current account surplus began to decline in the second half of 2022.

Experts explain this by a gradual increase in imports and a certain reduction in exports.

Thus, the supply of foreign goods to Russia began to gain momentum again after the launch of the parallel import program and the reorientation of business to new suppliers.

Meanwhile, sales of energy resources from Russia abroad have declined slightly, as global demand for raw materials began to weaken due to the threat of a global recession.

“The depreciation of the ruble accelerated in December after the imposition of an embargo and a price ceiling on Russian oil supplied by sea to the EU.

Russia's retaliatory measures may lead to a decrease in exports of raw materials from the Russian Federation and even out the skewed trade balance, which is why the national currency is getting cheaper, ”explained Andrey Maslov.

However, experts do not expect exchange rates to return to spring highs.

As Anatoly Aksakov, chairman of the State Duma Committee on the Financial Market, suggested in an interview with RT, in the foreseeable future, the value of the dollar and the euro is likely to continue to remain close to current values.

“It is unprofitable for us to have a strong ruble, but it is also unprofitable for it to be weak.

It is important that it be stable and be within the parameters that are determined when forming the budget for the next three years ... In the long term, the exchange rate in the range of 72-75 rubles is an acceptable value for us.

Approximately in this range, it will remain, based on the state of the Russian economy in which we are,” Aksakov emphasized.