How Well Is China Doing At Promoting Yuan Usage In Global Trade?

I keep hearing the Renminbi (Yuan) will replace the US dollar in global trade. Let's compare global trade usage in 2014 and 2015 to 2019 and 2021.

RMB World Payments Currency 2019 and 2021

RMB as World Payments Currency in Value 2021-04

RMB Global Trade Usage Summary

  • January 2014: 1.39% 
  • January 2015: 1.81% 
  • April 2019: 1.88%
  • April 2021: 1.95%

The above charts and stats are from Swift's RMB Tracker


If you have been reading and believing reports for the last 10 years how the dollar was going to hell and the yuan would soon replace the dollar as the world's reserve currency, you may be surprised.

Reports stress yuan usage is up an amazing 40% since January 2014. 

The above charts show the real picture. Up 40% from where?

 US Dollar’s Status as Dominant “Global Reserve Currency” Drops to 25-Year Low

US Dollar's Declining Hegemony

WolfStreet pretty much has the picture correct in its March 21 report US Dollar’s Status as Dominant “Global Reserve Currency” Drops to 25-Year Low

US dollar global transaction usage and foreign reserve usage has been in a slow decline for a long time. 

Trump's tariffs likely goosed the decline.

Nervousness Over Dollars?

But it seems, central banks have been getting just a tad nervous and want to diversify their holdings – but ever so slowly, and not all of a sudden, given the magnitude of this thing, which, if mishandled, could blow over everyone’s house of cards.

I do not believe this has anything to do with central banks getting nervous. Rather, it is simply a function of increasing trade in Euros and other currencies.

USD Share of Global Official Reserves 

USD Share of Global Official Reserves WOLF

Wolf accurately notes 

The euro, which combined the currencies of the member states into one currency, thereby combining their weight as reserve currency. Since then, the dollar’s share has dropped by 11 percentage points.

In 2016 the IMF added the RMB to its basket of currencies in it Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) bucket. That and China's growing influence was supposed to be the end of the dollar.

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