RMB Payment Volumes Up 33%, According to SWIFT

This month’s SWIFT renminbi (RMB) tracker shows that RMB payments increased by a third (32.6%) in February versus January 2012, propelling the RMB back to position 17, whereas world payments declined by -0.3% (mainly because significant drops in euro and pound payments). Overall, RMB share in world payments is 0.33%, up from 0.25% in January 2012.

However, RMB payments with Australia are now one of the lowest in Asia, down to a mere 1.9% of all Australia’s payments with China and Hong Kong from 3.1 % in January 2012. This is well below the average of 6.6% RMB payments in Asia (excluding China and Hong Kong). On the other hand, RMB payments with Taiwan, non-existent one year ago, increased to 11.4%.

There are at least two good reasons to develop more RMB payments with Australia:

  1. With nearly 20%, China is Australia’s biggest trading partner (Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 2010-11).
  2. Payments flows between Australia and China and Hong Kong are among the biggest in Asia. This should give ample opportunity for China and Australia to grow their RMB flows.

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