Belarus: Belarussian ruble weakens rapidly in August
September 7, 2015
The Belarussian ruble (BYR) weakened rapidly in recent weeks, declining sharply against the U.S. dollar. On 25 August, the BYR reached a new all-time low against the greenback, ending the day at 17,848 BYR per USD. This was 18.0% weaker than the level observed on the same day of the previous month and represented a 23.1% depreciation in the year-to-date. Since 25 August, the ruble has hovered near its record-low value.
The ruble’s weakening has come largely on the back of poor economic news emerging from Russia, Belarus’ main trading partner. In addition, a lack of international reserves, which have fallen below three months’ worth of imports, and a large number of foreign debt payments in the pipeline have prevented the Central Bank from supporting the ruble this year, leading to a more freely-floating currency.