Russian exporters have negligible rupee balances on accounts relative to total exports - Central Bank
MOSCOW. Sept 5 (Interfax) - Russian exporters have negligible rupee balances on accounts relative to total exports and those balances are declining, Central Bank Deputy Governor Alexei Zabotkin said.
"There are some settlements in rupees, they are insignificant in relation to total exports. Current balances are negligible in relation to exports," Zabotkin told reporters on the sidelines of the digital finance forum organized by ACRA.
"Our imports from India are not zero. It is wrong to assume that the geographic direction of exports directly correlates with the currency of payment," he said, when asked why the cash balances of Russian exporters in accounts in India were declining.
Mikhail Zadornov, the former head of the Otkritie bank and a former finance minister, has said another non-obvious reason for the ruble's depreciation was rupees stuck in accounts. "Russia delivered $30 billion worth of oil and oil products to India in the first half of the year, and our imports from India are estimated at $6 billion-$7 billion a year. We have nothing to buy in India, but we cannot return these rupees, since the rupee is not a convertible currency, and $30 billion in six months is more than the entire current account surplus," Zadornov wrote in a column for RBC.
Zabotkin said the volumes of rupees in the accounts of Russian exporters in India differed from those estimates. "Current balances are negligible in relation to export volumes," he said.